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We are in Les Cabannes, south of Tarascon-sur-Ariege & Foix. We would like to find a general doctor who speaks English near us. ax-les-Thermes is near also. Also we are amazed at vitamin prices in pharmacies. Any advice on finding them cheaper. I have joint problems and am getting older so I need Glucosamine and also Calcium, Vitamin C, etc.
 

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Finding a doctor who admits to speaking English can be a real trick in some parts of France. If you've found an English speaking expat group in your area, you can ask around among the members. Some towns have a list of doctors that you can get through the mairie, though they don't usually note language abilities. In some prefectures, posting information such as language abilities can be taken as "advertising" so most doctors tend to avoid any public mention of such things. Ameli has a listing of all the medical professionals by town or departement ameli-direct - Je choisis avant de consulter that you can consult - but from there you pretty much have to call around or go in to see the doctor to determine how able and willing he or she is to cope with English.

You're right about the vitamin prices here - and the dosages tend to be quite a bit lower than what you may be used to in the US. Check the amazon.co.uk website - many of the same products are now offered on amazon.fr priced in euros and available for delivery to France, but I usually go first to the UK site (since it's all in English).

There are a number of mail order vitamin suppliers on the Internet. I've used Biovea which appears to be a US based company that sells vitamins and supplements in several countries here in Europe. They aren't exactly cheap, but they are better than what you can get in the pharmacies here - certainly as far as the dosages and quantities are concerned. (Also the French seem to prefer their vitamins, especially vitamin C, in "fizzy tablet" form. Only kind my French husband will take. I prefer a plain old pill.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Finding a doctor who admits to speaking English can be a real trick in some parts of France. If you've found an English speaking expat group in your area, you can ask around among the members. Some towns have a list of doctors that you can get through the mairie, though they don't usually note language abilities. In some prefectures, posting information such as language abilities can be taken as "advertising" so most doctors tend to avoid any public mention of such things. Ameli has a listing of all the medical professionals by town or departement ameli-direct - Je choisis avant de consulter that you can consult - but from there you pretty much have to call around or go in to see the doctor to determine how able and willing he or she is to cope with English.

You're right about the vitamin prices here - and the dosages tend to be quite a bit lower than what you may be used to in the US. Check the amazon.co.uk website - many of the same products are now offered on amazon.fr priced in euros and available for delivery to France, but I usually go first to the UK site (since it's all in English).

There are a number of mail order vitamin suppliers on the Internet. I've used Biovea which appears to be a US based company that sells vitamins and supplements in several countries here in Europe. They aren't exactly cheap, but they are better than what you can get in the pharmacies here - certainly as far as the dosages and quantities are concerned. (Also the French seem to prefer their vitamins, especially vitamin C, in "fizzy tablet" form. Only kind my French husband will take. I prefer a plain old pill.)
Cheers,
Bev
As everyone from the states warned us, France is very expensive because of our bad exchange rate. It is getting better but paying 1.27 for every euro hurts so we are being careful when we can. I am considering paying for my daughter to ship vitamins to me. Even paying $55 for shipping 20 pounds should save money. Do you know what she should write on the customs documents so I don't get taxed when they arrive. It seems like, 25 years ago, we wrote - "personal goods - no commerical value". Does that still work?
 

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As everyone from the states warned us, France is very expensive because of our bad exchange rate. It is getting better but paying 1.27 for every euro hurts so we are being careful when we can. I am considering paying for my daughter to ship vitamins to me. Even paying $55 for shipping 20 pounds should save money. Do you know what she should write on the customs documents so I don't get taxed when they arrive. It seems like, 25 years ago, we wrote - "personal goods - no commerical value". Does that still work?
Twenty pounds of "no commercial value" is going to raise some suspicions - and possibly get you a VAT bill in the process.

Compare the prices you can get from Amazon or Biovea or another online supplier with the cost of pills in the US PLUS shipping PLUS any potential VAT (at 19.6%) and you may find that the European vendors are definitely comparable in pricing. (Biovea has no shipping fee for orders within France - I've seen the same at other mail order vendors that service orders from France.)

The exchange rate is something you learn to live with - and at the moment, it's headed in your favor.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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We are in Les Cabannes, south of Tarascon-sur-Ariege & Foix. We would like to find a general doctor who speaks English near us. ax-les-Thermes is near also. Also we are amazed at vitamin prices in pharmacies. Any advice on finding them cheaper. I have joint problems and am getting older so I need Glucosamine and also Calcium, Vitamin C, etc.
Interesting subject - from personal experience.

My wife was taking Glucosamine that we bought at Costco in the US - liquid form by Wellesse. Nearest equivalent was available in the UK but as Bev said much lower dosages and twice as expensive. So she quit using it - no noticeable effects.

I was also taking B12, SuperB Complex and a multivitamin. Hoping to get them on prescription (they were recommended by a US doctor) I talked to our doctor in France - he fell about laughing, told me to throw them away and stop wasting money. I did - no noticeable effects other than the condition improved!

In conclusion we believe that the quality of the diet here in France is so much better than the US we just don't need supplements. And we have lost weight and feel better.

Just personal experience but worth thinking about

Cheers
 
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