Pharmacies and Drugstores
Facts about Japanese Pharmacies
You can buy your medication with your prescription (処方せん しょほうせん shohousen) at a pharmacy in town.
There are pharmacies that have (処方せん受付 しょほうせんうけつけ shohousen uketsuke or 調剤薬局 ちょうざいやっきょく chouzaiyakkyoku).
Your medication cost will be covered by Japanese health insurance, so you only have to pay 30% of the total fees.
Pharmacists will tell you how to take the medicine prescribed for you. Also, you can buy a little booklet that keeps your prescription records (Okusuri Techou) at a pharmacy. Pharmacists put your medication record stickers in the booklet, so it is handy to let your doctor and pharmacist know what medications have been prescribed for you in the past.
Besides pharmacies, there are drugstores in Japan. They sell over-the-counter medicine and various healthcare goods. Pharmacists are working at drugstores as well, so you can consult a pharmacist to buy appropriate medicine for your symptoms. Please keep in mind that the medicines at a drugstore are not covered by Japanese health insurance.
Pharmacy and drugstore, the difference
In contrast with pharmacies that have no merchandise on the shelves, drugstores have a variety of merchandise on sale in the store. Pharmacies are usually open from8am-6pm, but drugstores are open much later. Some drugstores have prescribed medicine as well, so you can show your prescription and ask the drugstore staff, if you want to purchase medication there.