Pink, blue, green, yellow: What the colors of doctors’ prescriptions mean

Doctors in Germany are giving prescriptions in different colors. The meaning and validity period differ depending on whether the prescription is pink, blue, green or yellow. This is communicated by the Techniker-Krankenkasse (TK).
Pink prescriptions: They are also called prescription of the statutory health insurance and are the most frequent form. Who is treated with the insurance card of a statutory health insurance, the doctor prescribes the drugs, which the fund covers, on a pink prescription. Sometimes there is also talk of a red prescription. The costs are borne by the health insurance company; the patient only has to pay the co-payments—if he or she is not exempt from them. They amount to ten percent of the drug price, with a minimum of five euros and a maximum of ten euros per drug. The validity period of such a prescription is 28 days.
Blue prescriptions: These are considered private prescriptions. Patients receive them either because they are insured with a private health insurance company or if the drug in question does not comply with the pharmaceutical guideline and is therefore not covered by the statutory health insurance funds. Or he or she doesn’t have any insurance. In all cases, patients must initially pay for the prescribed drug themselves. The private health insurance company reimburses the amount later. Those who are not insured are left to bear the costs. A doctor also uses a private prescription when, at the patient’s request, he or she prescribes drugs and dressings that he or she does not consider therapeutically necessary. The prescription is valid for three months unless the doctor specifies otherwise.
Green prescription: A green prescription is virtually a recommendation for non-prescription drugs. Neither the statutory nor private health insurance will pay for medicines noted on such a prescription. A green prescription is valid for an unlimited period.
Yellow prescription: The yellow prescription is used to prescribe medications that fall under the narcotic prescription. This applies to some strong painkillers, but also to methadone, for example. Such prescriptions are valid for seven days. They consist of three parts and are numbered. One copy remains in the doctor’s office for documentation purposes, the other in the pharmacy.
So-called T-prescriptions are a special case: they are issued for drugs of the highest safety level. Drugs containing thalidomide, pomalidomide or lenalidomide are only available with such a special prescription. These agents are approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a malignant disease of the bone marrow. The T-prescription is only valid for six days after it is issued.
More about prescriptions can be found at the following links:
https://www.tk.de/techniker/leistungen-und-mitgliedschaft/informationen-versicherte/leistungen/weitere-leistungen/arzneimittel/arzneimittel-auf-rezept/rezepte-rezept-unterschiede-2002740
https://www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw/wissen/gesundheit-pflege/medikamente/wie-lange-ist-ein-rezept-gueltig-unterschiede-in-rosa-gruen-und-gelb-74268

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