Emigrating (to Germany) and ADHD meds

Goodmorning fellow Brains and Hearts,

A few weeks ago, I decided to sign a contract for my first real job. It really fits all the boxes and I’m very looking forward to start. It is however in Germany (and I live in the Netherlands).

Does anyone have experience with getting ADHD meds in another country? And are there any Germans here that have some advice on the process? I do have access to my diagnosis letters and they will be translated to German (and probably the rest of my medical file as well, but I don’t have that one yet).

Short description of me:
I was diagnosed with ADHD (the combined type) just before the global pandemic. I’m currently on methylphenidate (also known as ritalin) and it makes my life a lot easier. I’m currently finishing my Masters degree in Electrical Engineering.

TL;DR,
How do you get your meds when you move to another country?

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Hi engineer,

I have experiences in Germany. I think the question is will your insurance pay a doctors visit in Germany. You will need to see a psychiatrist in Germany, but if you are moving to Germany for a job, that shouldn’t be a problem. You will go to a doctor, who will than send you to a psychiatrist, you should bring the translated (or english) document. It will not be enough to go to a pharmacy with the prescription, for Methylphenidat falls under the BtmG Betäubungsmittelgesetz (Narcotics law) which is the law for controlled substances. Where are you moving to? If it is not far from the border, it might be worth traveling to the Netherlands once a month and getting a “Schengen Paper” that you are allowed to import. Also because you will still have to pay a little own share. Actually I know a lot of people who drive to the Netherlands to get medication. For more detailed information check the “Bundesopiumstelle” there you will also find the downloads of the papers you need. https://www.bfarm.de/DE/Bundesopiumstelle/Betaeubungsmittel/Ein-Ausfuhr/_node.html
Well, I guess it is all up to if you want to get involved with a german psychiatrist and if your insurance will cover. Otherwise you could also call the municipal health department (Gesundheitsamt) and ask what is the best way to arrange that stuff, or which doc to go to. They are actually quite nice. If you go there you need to have an original letter proving your diagnosis, signed, not an email print. Also you will need your passport. Actually I would call them.

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How good is your German? Acutally, if you call the “Gesundheitsamt” of your town/municipality it is very difficult to get through at the moment because of Corona. There is to much unregular work and the lines are always busy.

So google the “Ansprechperson” in Charge of “Betäubungsmittel” (Narcotics) to get hisher extension. Usually this person is called "Amtsapothekerin".
If you got a hold of the extension just call directly and ask if importing is the easier option or if you should get a hold of a doc. Since it is alway good to have a doc nearby, this sounds good to me.

So, I am actually glad that my gathered unnecessary expert knowledge about how crazy butterflies behave in times of turbulences could be of use to somebody. took me a while to gather it (little breakdown in between). Hope it helped. People are actually unexpectedly nice once you called. Docs don#t necessarily know about adult ADHD. Don’t go to a neurologist or a psychologist, but a psychiatrist when you need a prescription.

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Thank you so much for your response. I’m gonna make some calls in my best German to ask for the best solution. I’m moving to Munich, so importing is a bit tedious. On the other hand, I’m currently getting 3 months of methylphenidat every time I visit the pharmacy (as long as there is 3 months between each visit of course). The only thing I’m woried about, is if it’s possible to pick up medication with a German health insurance. If this is not a problem, importing and getting the Schengen letter is probably the easiest way.

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Will you have a German health insurance? If so, I would consider finding a German Psychiatrist. Actually your insurance company would than be the address to contact. (People usually are proud to show of their English in case you struggle with German) They should be able to help you find a doc who specializes on ADHD. Or you just google. München, Psychiater, ADHS, Erwachsene. Might take some time to find the right one. But they do prescribe Methylphenidat here. Mostly psychiatrists for children have more experience, but the can maybe tell you who is expert in Munich.

Maybe this ADHS-Deutschland site could help. ou can find a hotline and groups. https://www.adhs-deutschland.de/Home.aspx
Good luck

PS Actually I am not sure if you are allowed to carry Methylphenidat for 3 month in Germany. :slight_smile:

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no, you are not. checked. well in case you have too much time and love complicated German, here is all the rules.

It also says a dutch perscription can#t be managed by a german pharmacy.

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Yeah I will. But I don’t have it yet, because I haven’t started in Germany yet. My plan for now is, that I’ll travel to Germany to get my the health insurance paperwork sorted and stay insured in the Netherlands to pick up my meds ones a month until I have everything sorted in Germany. Not an optimal solution during covid-19, but I guess it’s possible with the correct paperwork.

Strangly enough, the paperwork handler of Dutch ministry of Health, Welbeing and Sports (the CAK), shows that is possible to travel with 3 months of mediciation to Germany. They even have a form for traveling for more then 90 days (https://www.hetcak.nl/regelingen/medicijnen-mee-op-reis/schengenlanden/langer-dan-90-dagen-naar-schengenland sorry, only in Dutch).

Thanks again for your help! You really helped me out!

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I guess you have to check with the local authorities. And also, as it has always been traveling in and out of Germany and the Netherlands, just consider if you are the kind of person being checked. In all my lifetime, I was never checked at the border ( you should report at customs by yourself though). If you are in the racial/social profiling pattern as some of my friends are, it could be just a pain in the a… having to prove that you don’t want to sell it somewhere.

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Totally unrelated, but:
I was checked a couple of times, before the current version of the EU borders. Curiously, I was only ever checked on the way to the NL, as if anybody ever smuggled drugs into that country.

Once, I was checked on the way back, too. Border guy shone a flashlight into the car, asked with an ironic voice, “you don’t have any drugs, do you?”, we all said, “of course not”, and that was that.

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That is right. It is a one way road.

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To be honest, I’ve never been checked within the EU at the border. Even during covid times, nobody seems te care. In the end, I ended up with a declaration from the Dutch court that I was allowed to bring my medication to Germany. I haven’t fixed a doctor here in Munich yet, but that’s something I’m planning to do if my German health insurance sends me the card.

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