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If you are diagnosed by a doctor as suffering from a chronic illness as defined by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and your condition is stable and can be controlled by medication taken regularly, the doctor will issue a "chronic illness refill prescription" that will save you money. To check on what constitutes a chronic disease, please see the NHIA website at http://www.nhi.gov.tw/.

The refill prescription is valid for 90 days and can be filled up to three times, with 30 days of medicine maximum per refill. The hospital, clinic or pharmacy must verify your NHI card every time you fill the prescription, but it will not deduct a doctor`s visit from the card`s allotted amount. When you get more than 28 days of medicine in the second and third refills in a "chronic illness refill prescription," you are also exempt from paying a co-payment for the medication.
Chronic disease patients who need to take medication over a long-term basis but cannot get to the doctor can authorize others to pick up medication on their behalf. The policy applies to patients who are immobilized or who will be out of the country for extended periods of time, such as deep-sea fishermen or workers on other ships navigating international routes who have the necessary documentation. The person acting on the patient's behalf must see the original doctor and describe the patient's condition. If, based on the doctor's professional judgment, the patient's condition is clearly understood, the doctor can then decide to write a prescription, but only for the same medication as prescribed previously.

The refill prescription system can save patients a considerable amount of money, but it's up to the doctor to decide if you should receive a standard prescription or the refill prescription. Even if you suffer from a chronic disease as defined by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, if your condition is not stable and you need to get regular checkups at a clinic or hospital, you are not a suitable candidate for the "chronic illness refill prescription."

Guidelines on Using Refill Slip for Chronic Illness Prescription
  • To avoid running out of medicine, please be sure that you take your prescription to the clinic or hospital where you were originally diagnosed or a NHI-contracted pharmacy within 10 days of when your medication will run out to refill your prescription. You can have the prescription refilled further in advance before long holidays, such as the Chinese New Year holiday.
  • If there is no a NHI-contracted pharmacy in your neighborhood or you cannot get back to the original health care institution that issued the prescription, you can have the prescription filled at other NHI-contracted hospitals or a community health center.
  • If you plan to go abroad for over 2 months, work on a fishing vessel or international cruise vessel, or are a patient of a rare disease, present the related documents of proof or release in order to fill the total prescription amount for the chronic illness prescription. Total medication prescribed is limited to 90 days each time.
  • If you suffer any discomfort while taking any of the prescribed medicines, you should quickly return to the clinic or hospital that treated you originally with your prescription and discuss the situation with your physician. You must remember to inform the doctor of the medications prescribed so that he or she will not unwittingly prescribe the same medications and threaten your safety.
  • If you have lost your prescription refill slip, please return to the clinic or hospital that originally treated you for a new checkup. If you pick up the same prescription again after claiming medication, you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket.