Free Circulation of Pharmacists

How to work as Pharmacist in countries of the European Union


Pharmacists who want to work in another country have to get the recognition of their professional qualification by this country, but they often do not know the qualified authority, to which they have to address their request.


Whether it will be easy or rather difficult to get this recognition depends on the fact where the pharmacist did obtain his degree. If the diploma is issued by one of the member states of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland it will be easy, because these countries have decided that their diplomas are equivalent, if those are conform to the Guideline 2013/55/EC.

The diploma, which have been recently acquired in these states, are usually conform to the guideline, pharmacists with elder diploma can get the recognition, if they have worked in a pharmacy in the state they come from (for instance for at least three years in the last five years). 

All other pharmacists may have to go back to university to renew some courses and pass some exams or have to do a supervised practical course. It usually depends on the curriculum of the university where the pharmacist got his degree.


Besides the recognition of the diploma, the guest country may also ask for other criteria, like knowledge of the language, of specific national regulations (prescription only medicines, reimbursement, etc. ), reliability etc.


Another problem for pharmacists from outside EU, EEA or Switzerland is the question of the working permission and immigration. The best is always to contact still in the home country the Embassy of the country where the pharmacist wants to work to get information about this.


Qualified authorities in   



  • Recognition of qualification: Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists, Spitalgasse 31, 1090 Wien, Austria (
  • Informations 










  • The Norwegian Directorate of Health is responsible for granting authorisation required for all categories of professions within the legally regulated health sector.

    Authorisation represents a full and permanent approval, while licenses impose one or more limitations with respect to duration, independent or supervised practice/training etc.


Contact EPhEU

Employed community Pharmacists in Europe
c/o Verband Angestellter Apotheker Österreichs (VAAÖ)
Berufliche Interessenvertretung

Spitalgasse 31/4
1090 Wien


Phone: ++43/01/404 14 419
Fax: ++43/01/404 14 414


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