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Old 21-10-2006, 09:39   #1
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Prescriptions while cruising

How do you handle the issue of stocking up on prescription medications before leaving the States? My wife's doctor is reluctant to prescribe more than 60 days. It is a thyroid medicine that she has been on forever and no problems to worry about. I think the dr. likes the office visits - but we're running against this wall. Advice please.
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Old 21-10-2006, 11:04   #2
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If your insurace co. is paying for the meds then that is who is telling the Doc how to prescribe.

I had to call my insurance before going on vacation so they could give the OK to the pharmacy to release and extra months worth.

This may not be your case but here are a couple links that might help.

Medical Stores for Cruising

Medicine List
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Old 21-10-2006, 11:07   #3
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Have you tried explaining to your doctor that you will be out of the country for an extended period of time ?? If so, and s/he still refuses, find a new doctor.
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Old 21-10-2006, 21:04   #4
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I agree, if the doctor can't work with you--find one that can.

WalMart has just expanded their program to provide something like 130 common generic medicines for $4/refill (which I think is a 30-day refill) so you may find that dealing with WalMart, or one of their competitors, or a legitimate Canadian company, etc., can get you the meds you need even if your insurance company is a problem.

Most insurers will only allow a 30-60-90 day refill unless you pre-authorize, and some may not even do that. You might tell a supervisor "Look, either we take six months worth of meds with or, or you guys are gonna pay a fortune to fill this rx at sea."

Also note that the conditions on a boat (hot & humid) are not good for storing meds, you may want to look into packaging them securely with a dessicant pack and splitting them up, then keeping then someplace cool--like the bilge or icebox.

The last option would be to have someone at home (or at a pharmacy) pre-arrange to ship them to you overseas, but shipping meds could become a customs' problem everyplace.
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Old 22-10-2006, 02:56   #5
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Even while searching for the right medication & dosage, my Doctor prescribed 90 day quantities. Several times, I had to discontinue a particular regimen, return to the Dr. early, and get a new ‘scrip.
Now that I’ve been satisfied with my med’s, I am on a 6 month quantity and office follow-up schedule.
Your wife’s Doctor may be slightly over-cautious, responding to an insurer’s demands, or even “milling the system”. Given you’re wife’s long history of satisfaction with her med’s, her Doctor should be persuaded to extend the prescription for longer durations.
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Old 22-10-2006, 11:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Also note that the conditions on a boat (hot & humid) are not good for storing meds, you may want to look into packaging them securely with a dessicant pack and splitting them up, then keeping then someplace cool--like the bilge or icebox.
Good point!
In high humidity places, like the tropics or PNW vacuum packing two weeks worth at a time keeps them fairly fresh....................._/)
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Old 23-10-2006, 09:14   #7
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And depending where you are cruising, they give out prescriptions like candy in most other countries as compared to the US. We were able to not only get ours filled easily in the Caribbean, but also were able to get new prescriptions that were valid in the country we were in just by showing the US prescription. Meds are quite available in most areas that have any population at all. Plus it's far FAR cheaper once you are outside the good old USA.
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Old 24-10-2006, 03:13   #8
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It would be wise to keep (at least) a photocopy of any prescriptions with your ship’s/crew’s papers. Generally, the import of a personal supply of any drug brought over most borders must be declared to Customs, and you should have a valid prescription (in your own name) from a licensed doctor with you.
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Old 24-10-2006, 12:35   #9
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Gord, in the US the actual scrip is usually *taken* by the pharmacy filling the order, and retained by them. Once the order is filled, the Rx label on the bottle is what we normally have as proof of a legal Rx in the US.

Any idea how that differs, or is accepted, around the world?
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Old 24-10-2006, 15:36   #10
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hellosailor

" Gord, in the US the actual scrip is usually *taken* by the pharmacy filling the order, and retained by them..."
Same worldwide - Which is why I suggest a photocopy - in addition to the label. Documentation wins arguments.
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Old 24-10-2006, 16:23   #11
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As aa retired physician, I can understand anyone's questions about getting enough meds for an extended trip. Just sask, and let them know your plans. Your insurance may not pay for more than 30-90 days in advance, but if your plans include more time then that from home.....pay out of pocket(esp with thyroid meds_) and add it to the cost of the lifestlye. All of us basically must do the same.
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