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German Law Affects TRICARE Users in Germany

A recent change in the German law means that TRICARE users living in Germany won’t be able to get mail order prescriptions from the United States – or anywhere else outside of Germany, for that matter. Germany’s government is placing a number of restrictions on what Americans can bring into Germany via the APO/FPO system, and that includes pharmaceutical products, i.e., prescription drugs. The new rules will affect about 2,000 TRICARE prescriptions, according to federal officials.

If you are currently receiving prescription drugs by home delivery in Germany, you need to get your next refill order in by 19 November, according to TRICARE officials.

The military postal system will stop accepting prohibited items, which include drugs, on or about January 1. After January 1, the military mail system will begin returning pharmaceuticals and other prohibited products to sender, or in some cases destroying them.

TRICARE has relaxed time restrictions on when you can request a refill to help TRICARE members navigate the new rule, and get their refills in time to make other arrangements to get their prescription drugs from other sources. Meanwhile, American military pharmacies in Germany are stocking up their inventories in anticipation of increased demand for these prescription drugs.

The German ruling isn’t just limited to TRICARE. The regulations will affect DoD civilians and anyone else getting prescription medicines from outside the European Union.

Using a Military Pharmacy in Germany

TRICARE members can get prescriptions filled in American military pharmacies for no charge. For the transaction to qualify, the prescription must meet certain limitations:

  • The prescription must come from a duly licensed, authorized health care provider.
  • Users can qualify for up to a 90 day supply in most cases.
  • Non-formulary medications are generally not available at military pharmacies.
  • Brand-name drugs are generally not carried where there is a generic equivalent available, unless the drug is listed on the Basic Core Formulary document.

Using German Pharmacies

You can choose to use a German pharmacy, rather than go through the military pharmacy system. TRICARE will consider any German or other host-nation pharmacy to be an ‘out-of-network’ pharmacy. You may need to pay out of pocket, and then submit documentation to TRICARE. To do so, fill out a Form DD 2642, Patient’s Request for Military Reimbursement. However, members of TRICARE Overseas Prime and Prime Remote will still get reimbursed 100 percent of authorized costs incurred from host-nation pharmacies.

You must include the following information to get reimbursed for your prescription drugs if you don’t go through the military pharmaceutical system:

  • Date of fill
  • Quantity
  • Pharmacy name
  • What you (the beneficiary) paid
  • Drug name and strength

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