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Old 30-09-2020, 01:35   #16
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Re: Prescription medications

Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
... Query: Are originals of my records required instead of copies?
Perhaps, you can get copies your pertinent medical records “notarized”.
A certified true copy is a copy of a document that a notary has verified and certified (notarized) as a true copy of the original document.
In Canada, a medical and health practitioner: chiropractor, dentist, doctor, naturopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, ophthalmologist, optometrist, pharmacist, psychologist, and a registered nurse (& many others*) can certify a true photocopy of original documents, in Canada.
* ➥
Check out California/USA law.
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Old 06-10-2020, 13:30   #17
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Re: Prescription medications

We never had a customs agent ask about the contents of our medical kits. I think they assume that long-term cruisers will have a fairly comprehensive kit. We did have a small number of opiod pills as part of our four stage pain relieve steps. Only ever got to stage 3 a couple of times and interestingly never used 1 and 2.
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
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Old 02-12-2020, 18:29   #18
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Re: Prescription medications

Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
It's also that some of the medications you need may not be available in that country.

To get specific for me; I have to take Testosterone daily. Much of the Testosterone I get is manufactured in other countries, often Israel but not exclusively, so availability is probably good almost everywhere. But it's a drug that is easily abused and has a high black market desirability. Importing quantities of black market drugs is pretty much a no-no. Each "dispenser" (a pump container like hand soap or lotion) has 30 days in it. 30 days is passage time so you'd need 2 "dispensers" at least.

I also have to have both Soma (powerful muscle relaxant) and opioid-based pain medications because of my spine issues. A single prescription for either/both will last me a year, but it's still a lot of "restricted" drugs to have on hand and these may not be quickly available in foreign lands.

On another subject: For women, how do you handle prescriptions for birth control pills when on years-long cruises? How does that affect where you can and can't go with those meds on board?

And yet another question: Do all of these meds have to be "locked up" in the the boat's medical cabinet at all times?
I am interested in how you solved your problem. I am having the same problem and am very frustrated dealing with the doctor and customs.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:18   #19
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Re: Prescription medications

Originally Posted by rmarsh3309 View Post
I am interested in how you solved your problem. I am having the same problem and am very frustrated dealing with the doctor and customs.
Still working on the "getting started" part of all of this. I was hoping that someone who writes one of those cruising/travel books would chime in. I can find out the minute details of how weedy the bottom is in an anchorage that no one's ever heard of before, including the Latin names of the botanicals down there, but no one seems to know what's allowed in the med kit.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:55   #20
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Re: Prescription medications

First, all prescription meds MUST BE prescribed by a licensed doctor and in a labeled container. (I've never been asked to show the actual prescription from the doctor.)

Buying medicines OTC in some countries are cheaper, but could land you in serious trouble when you travel to another, or they simply might confiscate it. For example, Azithromycin is readily available OTC in Asia...if you entered US with a Z-Pac without a prescription it would be confiscated and possibly fined.

A prescription from a licensed doctor is valid anywhere in the world. (I personally have never encountered any customs agent who questioned the validity a properly labeled bottle of prescription meds, and have never had a prescription med confiscated. This applies to both traveling by sea or air travel.)

The shelf-life on many meds is longer than indicated, and as long as not exposed to extremely high heat many tablets will last abt. 3 years in effectiveness (according to my doc).

As GoneDiving stated, make an itemized list of every single medication (prescription and non-prescription) on your boat along with quantity and the location and present this document along with your ship's papers to the customs official. For prescription meds log all usage underway. If the prescription container indicates 20 tablets and there are only 10 you should have a record of when / why used. This is especially important if you take certain medications (opioids) in port.

In Asia/SE Asia they take opioid smuggling very seriously. As long as they are declared and accounted for I personally have not had my prescription confiscated. In Indonesia I had to ensure that prescription was in a locked container; they counted the number on entry and exit. In Japan the customs agent did not bat an eyebrow.

WRT to all meds being "locked up" in a medicine have specific prescription meds in my rapid ditch kit, others in my med kit, and my daily med on a cabinet in my cabin. Again the key is that they are all listed on a form. Customs will sometimes inspect...mostly not.

If you're having difficulty with a doc prescribing you meds...switch doctors. Explain that you are going cruising and provide a list of specific meds and why you desire to have them aboard. A discussion indicating that you know when and how to administer those meds helps...go in prepared. Also Ocean Medix provides prescription med kits w/prescription for common meds and IV packs.

In the US, some insurance companies will deny prescriptions for more than 1 month supply. You can ask the pharmacist to request a "vacation waiver" from the ins. company if the amount is greater than 1 month supply. Your ins. co. may vary in it's to check.

Finally, you should be trained and knowledgeable on the various prescription meds and first aid that you have onboard. (I carry copies of my training records for adv. first aid, CPR/AED (which I carry onboard), suturing, and peripheral IV insertion). Most opioids are useful for immediate intense pain relief...they are usually not good for long term use. Lomotil is good for persistent diarrhea (more than 1 day) to prevent dehydration...but could really block you up. Different antibiotics are used to treat different types of infections...learn which targets things like UTIs vs. staph infections and be aware that many antibiotics may also predispose you to sunburn.

Also, if you have crew...they must inform you of any drug allergies and any prescription meds they bring onboard.

Declaring things upfront when clearing into a country usually don't get you into trouble...if that country doesn't permit something they usually just confiscate it. When you "forget" something or intentionally try to hide it...the outcome is usually not in your favor.

This has been my experience traveling by boat through the Pacific & SE Asia. (Canadian customs was always more concerned with booze than with any meds onboard.) YMMV.
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