Anyone from Portugal - Need to know how medication cost works

I just wanted to know if anyone from this forum is from Portugal or knows about medication cost in portugal. I am planning to move there with my wife (of course :slight_smile: ) and I also found a website where I found Humira, MTX, Cosentyx etc. But looks like only MTX was covered and HUMIRA and Cosentyx were not covered and we might have to pay everything out of pocket for these medication. (Again we don’t have to take both humira and cosentyx at the same time. But we might have to start one these two in near future).

I would like to know if we get a private insurance where they are willing to cover PsA (pre-existing condition) what will be the actual out of pocket cost we might have to pay. And if anyone can share prices and insurance company etc that will be super helpful too.

Thank you in advance.


I don’t know specifically but as Portugal is in the EU it will be essentially led by that. In Europe most private medial insurance tends to try and not cover chronic disease of which of course PsA is. So it’s under the public health system where chronic disease are more likely to be covered.

I would research private medical insurance in Portugal and see whether chronic diseases are covered and interrogate the providers on their coverage of it. And there might be a significant bar to any any coverage of a pre-existing condition anyway. I wouldn’t be searching for the meds as much as how you can access them. Portugal will be able to provide biologics, most especially the more standard ones such as humira, enbrel and cosentyx. More easily in the bigger cities than rurally according to ex pat websites (after a quick google search).

Again there are likely to be protocols your wife will need to jump through in order to qualify for biologics, whether via insurance (if pre-existing conditions are covered) or the public system. It does appear it’s only the USA that prescribes these as a matter of choice. The rest of the world aapears to demand protocols are adhered to first and often when moving countries and health systems like this the patient has to start again on the protocol as often happens here in the UK when Americans move over. They sometimes aren’t automatically kept on the same biologic as they were in the USA but must instead plod through our NICE protocol all over again to qualify for the prescription of biologics.

I’m Irish and often daydream of going home to Ireland. What stops me though is that there I would be unlikely to be able to avail of the same standard of care and access to meds as I do in the UK. I wouldn’t qualify under private medical insurance for it and the Irish public health system isn’t as wealthy for funding purposes as the NHS is. So access would be harder for my biologic. Plus there are far more specifically PsA experienced rheumys in the UK than Ireland and I happen to be exceptionally privileged to be cared for by one of the most experienced PsA rheumys in the UK under the NHS. So frankly I’m in the best place presently for the best care available between both countries for my PsA. And that remains a priority for me.

Best of luck though and what a great adventure to be considering.

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Something else occured to me - access to the public health system if that’s how you must go (rather than buy insurance) is sometimes limited until you’ve paid in enough through the tax system, regardless of visa status and residency status. That is different for each country but investigating what Portugal’s requirements on this would be wise too.

I live in Portugal and a site I use to access medication and availability here is If you are from the US, after applying for your resident visa, you will be required to have private insurance. Once you’ve gone through and been approved by immigration, you can then apply for public health. If you are an American, try joining Americans and Friends in Portugal group. They have files that answer your questions.