Medicinal products; registration for the examination of expertise for the trade in over-the-counter medicinal products

In order to be able to offer so-called over-the-counter medicines in the trade, you must prove the corresponding expertise by passing an examination.


In principle, drugs may only be sold in pharmacies. However, there are exceptions for so-called over-the-counter drugs. These can be, for example, teas, ointments or tablets containing herbal substances such as valerian. If you want to sell these products in your store, an employee with proven expertise must always be on site. You can prove this expertise by taking the exam.

In the exam, for example, you must be able to answer questions about the proper storage of over-the-counter medicines, possible dangers of overdosing the active ingredients, and legal requirements for handling and selling. The questionnaire includes 50 multiple-choice questions and 5 open-ended questions.

You should prepare for the exam in terms of content, for example by attending a preparatory course. However, this is not a prerequisite for registering for the exam.

With a university degree or vocational training in the field of pharmacy, you may already have the expertise and do not need to prove it by taking a separate exam; you can find more on this in the further information.


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First, you register in writing or online with the responsible IHK.

  • The IHK confirms your registration
  • You take the exam on the selected date
  • If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate.

After receiving the certificate, you are allowed to sell medicines that are not subject to compulsory pharmacy sales.


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Processing time

You will usually receive the certificate within a few days after passing the exam.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • Photo ID for identification during the test


  • Costs are incurred. The exact amount can be found in the fee schedule of the local IHK.


Detailed information on how to appeal an examination result can be found in the notice of failure.


Responsible for editing:Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag e.V.

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