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Old 11-05-2015, 14:47   #1
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How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage ?!?

Hello All,

I have (7) prescriptions sent to me from the V A on a monthly basis. Three of them are critical for control of my diabetes & other medical problems.

I have traveled to foreign countries (UAE) and ran into a big problem in getting my medications in the mail. My medications were confiscated and that was it. I showed them my (current) prescription list from my VA Doctor. It was an original (signed) prescription list and was ignored. I had to see a doctor in the UAE to get all my prescription's filled there. He copied the same dosage and medication that was on my VA List of Prescriptions.

My Original Question.

How can I resolve this problem... to get my prescriptions, " filled or mailed into me in other countries ? "

I realize that the different countries have their own rules. Who do you contact to find out about a countries medical/ prescription regulations ?

I plan on being outside the USA for about 1 year and traveling into a number of port locations.

Thanks,

Avery
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Old 11-05-2015, 20:08   #2
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

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Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post
Hello All,



I have traveled to foreign countries (UAE) and ran into a big problem in getting my medications in the mail. My medications were confiscated and that was it. I showed them my (current) prescription list from my VA Doctor. It was an original (signed) prescription list and was ignored. I had to see a doctor in the UAE to get all my prescription's filled there.

(snip)
How can I resolve this problem... to get my prescriptions, " filled or mailed into me in other countries ? "

I realize that the different countries have their own rules. Who do you contact to find out about a countries medical/ prescription regulations ?
Most countries will not let you import (otherwise legal) drugs in the mail if you are not registered as a pharma business and the drugs are registered in that country. I know Americans are used to getting prescriptions in the mail; in most countries that is allowed and a board-registered pharmacist has to see you.

Usual workaround for cruisers is to take a large quantity with them as "luggage". The rules are typically more flexible and a home country prescription will usually work for everything except highly controlled stuff (say morphine and the like).

You can also buy locally of course, but this will typically require seeing a local doctor. In most countries the easiest way to find about the rules to buy prescription drugs in that country is a pharmacy.

I have taken 4-month supplies with me in various trips without a problem.





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Old 11-05-2015, 21:03   #3
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Sounds like someone planning extended cruising/circumnavigation has some problems. I might be flying back to the US every six months or less. Does flying in to say NZ present the same problems?

Joe
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:45   #4
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

I lived in Africa for five years. I would fly home every six months to fill my meds. The insurance company wasn't too fond of the idea but would do it with verification of destination. I thought you said you were dealing with the va and that is a whole different ball of wax


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Old 12-05-2015, 06:05   #5
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

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I lived in Africa for five years. I would fly home every six months to fill my meds. The insurance company wasn't too fond of the idea but would do it with verification of destination. I thought you said you were dealing with the va and that is a whole different ball of wax
There is always a way. You can "stock up" by buying a 6-month supply privately before you leave, let the monthly insurance-paid shipments pile up at home while you are away and when you come home take the whole pile with you. I never had a problem taking prescriptions with me into countries that would not let you mail them in, such as most South American countries.
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:34   #6
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Hello All,

Yes, I'm dealing with the V A and they are fairly rigid to deal with. I might be able to get about 3 months of prescriptions from them, that's about it.

I was in (from above) the UAE in 2011 and spent 3 months there. I had my prescription's mailed to me and were confiscated. I was able to get them filled thru a UAE doctor.

I did an internet search after this post. I figured out, to have my med's with me when I leave.... everything is complicated if I don't.

Bottom line, I need insulin and it can be bought without a prescription out of my own pocket. I can stock up on a 9 month + supply. This should hold me on my trip. My family doctor may write out prescriptions for a long trip outside the USA.

Health wise, I've been able to pass a 2nd class flight physicals with wavers as of 2013. I feel that I'm A Ok for the trip, provided I have my med's.; otherwise I'd never go.

Avery
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:09   #7
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Well ... at the least, realize that monies you spend on health-care items might be deductible from any copay and, if I understand right, might("will", in my case), result in a like-increase in monetary benefits.

Your problems is one of the major reasons I won't be spending much, if any time, out of the U.S.A..
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:12   #8
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

I'm fairly sure that most of the world has access to prescription drugs. So this is deciding if the cost of buying out of pocket is worth it, just part of the costs of cruising.

BTW - lots of long threads here on CF about this
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:28   #9
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Avery,
When you have your doc write the script make sure it is a nine month supply and not a one mont supply with nine refills. Pharmacies have a difficult time otherwise


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Old 12-05-2015, 10:32   #10
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post
Hello All,

I have (7) prescriptions sent to me from the V A on a monthly basis. Three of them are critical for control of my diabetes & other medical problems.

I have traveled to foreign countries (UAE) and ran into a big problem in getting my medications in the mail. My medications were confiscated and that was it. I showed them my (current) prescription list from my VA Doctor. It was an original (signed) prescription list and was ignored. I had to see a doctor in the UAE to get all my prescription's filled there. He copied the same dosage and medication that was on my VA List of Prescriptions.

My Original Question.

How can I resolve this problem... to get my prescriptions, " filled or mailed into me in other countries ? "

I realize that the different countries have their own rules. Who do you contact to find out about a countries medical/ prescription regulations ?

I plan on being outside the USA for about 1 year and traveling into a number of port locations.

Thanks,

Avery
I've Cruised extensively; mainly in the Caribbean and Europe. I always take 6 mo of Meds and have had family send additional supplies without problems. Also had local Pharmacies renew without hassle, even had Meds delivered by hand by Pharmacies/Chemists to the Marina in many locations. Personally I think many run into problems by trying to do the right thing, they declare everything, fill out the correct forms. I never have and have been fortunate in avoiding problems. Why encourage bureaucracy, in a critical situation I'm sure you will always get your Meds.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:36   #11
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Will the VA consider mailing to an embassy? You could use their APO address? A friendly embassy or consulate employee could be the ticket here.

While living in Canada as a military exchange student, I was allowed access to the consulate to get mail - but this was active duty. Still, a little research may open some options.

Tankersteve
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:20   #12
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

I'm a MD in orthopaedic surgery. I would have difficulty in understanding why your pharmacist of General practitioner wouldn't be able to help you seamlessly through a prolonged sojourn. Here in Denmark, where I live, you can have special pharmacists prepare medical chests especially for travels by the sea. Most medications will hold well if contained i your boat's refrigerator for 1-2 years. It's really not mich different from eh clinics on big cruising ships, for oilrigs og for naval vessels. They have to be able to be well stocked in key medicines, especially the cruising Leviathans. Maybi the US Coast Guard could give some advice.
Steffen Jacobsen, MD, PhD.
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Old 12-05-2015, 15:31   #13
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Often the cost of meds locally will be close to the US copay. Most of the drugs you are taking are likely to be available in local pharmacies, and often don't require a prescription. It really depends on the country and the medicine. Something like insulin will be available in cities everywhere, but not necessarily an exact match for your prescription. Some convenience packaging, like the pens, and some expensive patent drugs may be a problem. OTOH generics are often available overseas much earlier than in the US. You might try to research on the internet what is available - an email to a local pharmacy could quickly answer the question.

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Old 12-05-2015, 16:48   #14
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

I am an American living in the Philippines. I received care by the VA while on a visit to the States 4 years ago. The VA would only provide a 6 month prescription for me, 3 months supply and 1 renewal. I left the US with a 3 month supply and the VA sent a renewal to my daughter's house 3 months later. My daughter used DHL to send me the drugs. Customs in the Philippines charged me 100% duty on the full retail value of the drugs and the cost of shipping. I now use the locally available generics without problems and at a cost not much higher than the copay at the VA. If your concerned about using generics name brands are available at much reduced price from in the States. I am 73 y/o with many medical problems so I have had to learn the best way to handle the problem in this country. Unfortunately every country is different. Best of luck.
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Old 12-05-2015, 17:21   #15
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Re: How to Get Prescriptions Filled or Sent into Differnt Countries on a Long Voyage

Take a look at Canadian Online Pharmacies. They do require prescriptions from ur US MD but will mail to US address (from where mine are forwarded) whatever quantity is ordered.
I have my Doc prescribe tablets double dose and use my trusty pill cutter
Even tho I'm on medicare, online (foreign) orders are, like someone said, about what insurance copay is (with no donut hole for me )

Eg Atacand (bp med- generic made in Turkey) US $3/pill, Online $1/pill

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