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Doctors are responsible for treating patients and deciding what medication they should take. Pharmacists then prepare the medication according to the doctor's prescription and remind patients how to take it.
At the end of your visit with a doctor, the doctor may give you a prescription listing the types of medicine you need, dosages to be taken and how to use them. You should take the prescription slip within three days of the visit (after three days, the prescription is no longer valid) to a NHI-contracted pharmacy to pick up your medicine. (If the hospital or clinic you visited has a qualified pharmacist, you can have your prescription filled by the health care institution's pharmacy on the spot.)

A prescription should include the following information:
  • The patient's name and age (or date of birth)
  • The diagnosis and physician's signature (or seal)
  • The name of the hospital or clinic and its address and telephone number
  • The name of the drug(s), its form (capsule, pill, liquid, etc.), unit dosage content, quantity, dosage, and usage instructions (i.e., how long or when to take the medication, and other medication precautions.)
  • The date the prescription was issued and its refill instructions (shows how many times the patient can refill the prescription and the number of days covered by each prescription).
Registration fees are administrative fees and vary depending on the health care institution based on a fee schedule approved by the Public Health Bureau of the county or city in which the institution is located. According to the National Health Insurance Act, registration fees are not covered by the NHI program and are not collected by the National Health Insurance Administration. If you have any questions regarding registration fees, please contact your local Public Health Bureau.
Regular Prescription Rules
When physicians prescribe medicine to a patient, they usually prescribe 7 days of medicine in principle. Based on physicians' assessments of their patients, they are allowed to prescribe up to seven days' worth of medicine, and if a patient is diagnosed with a chronic ailment, they can prescribe up to 30 days of medicine.
If the pharmacy does not have a particular drug listed in the prescription, and the doctor did not specify that the specific drug has to be taken, the pharmacists can substitute another drug from another pharmaceutical company that is not more expensive and has the same composition, form and dosage. The substitute drug must also be covered under the National Health Insurance program.