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Prescription meds for multiple months travel

My wife and I are currently on a four-month trip pet sitting in the UK. While we managed to get prescriptions to cover our meds before we left the USA on this trip, we are wondering how we might be able to do this if we want to travel for six to nine months outside the USA. Has anyone experience of extended travel medical coverage for Prescription meds? We have some meds that are restricted regulated supply in the USA (I.e. it’s difficult get meds for more than 90 days and they cannot be mailed as they must be collected in person). Also, what do you do for medical coverage for trips over 90 days? (Most travel insurance we’ve found limits coverage to 90 days from date leaving home).

Posted by
2131 posts

With regards to the meds, do you have family or friends who could receive a package for you? If I was staying longer than 3 months, I would have the meds mailed to my US address, and have my daughter forward it to me. I doubt that you will be able to get an Rx for more than 3 months because of insurance requirements.

Posted by
271 posts

Careful, you might run into real customs problems if you ship prescription medication into the EU from outside of it. In Germany at least, this is considered "importing" medicine (while carrying it in your luggage is not), and is generally not really possible--they will destroy the package contents.

Here is one website in English from the customs authority about this. I have no idea what the rules in other EU countries are, but would be somewhat surprised if it were allowed to send medications.

Posted by
3454 posts

I too wouldn’t mail medication from the US to a foreign country. We sent a simple package of gym shorts to a HS girl in Germany who forgot them at our house in May. Guess what was returned to us in late August? You guessed it. There were Zoll stickers and charges on the package even though we had labeled the little soft envelop Used Clothing. It cost us $16.99 to ship it in the first place. I can’t imagine mailing prescriptions and wouldn’t take a chance on it. Sorry I don’t have another suggestion for you though.

Posted by
2877 posts

Check with 5e country directly. because you never know what can be mailed. we mailed my FIL’s ashes to Croatia a few years ago. No problem. Transporting them with my husband and his brother by plane was too much paperwork for them. Maybe if a doctor’s note accompanies them it would help. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

Posted by
8987 posts

There is long-stay medical coverage once you have decided which country you want as your base .

Most people see a local doctor and have the medicine prescribed in the country in which they are staying. If the exact medication isn’t allowed, certified or available, adjustments need to be made.

No, don’t mail medicine. It’s not even allowed inside something shipped with Send My Bag.

Posted by
578 posts

Maybe you could see a doctor there and get him to write the Rx's. If they've got the Rx bottles from you, and perhaps a page or two from your chart from home, it would be less of a challenge. Consular sections in Embassies and Consulates maintain a list of English-speaking doctors. The Rx's may be more/less expensive and not covered by your insurance overseas, but this could be easier than figuring out a way to ship them. Have you spoken with your prescriber? With your pharmacy? Do you use a mail-order pharmacy?
Ours, Express Scripts, is happy to fill in advance. You can't be the first person in this situation.

Re the insurance, a lot of companies offer full-year policies limited either by the number of trips or the total amount claimed. Try DAN, DIver's Alert Network. We've found their policies to be reasonably priced and hassle-free when making a claim.

Posted by
6378 posts

Basically, you are to the point that a Doctor in the area you are staying will need to write a prescription. Even your home Doctor, for some of the controls, should want to see you periodically and not doing refill after refill. (usually once a year)

It would probably help if your Doctor wrote some type of letter explaining exactly what they prescribed and why; then the Doctor there would have a starting point.

You may however run into regulations in different countries, where they may not allow prescriptions of controlled drugs for some conditions, a medicine that is not approved for use in that country, or medicines that are illegal in that country.

Posted by
12222 posts

Most insurance companies will allow more than a 90 day supply by special request. Usually it's only allowed once. Check with your insurance company.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the suggestions. I did find this on the UK gov site which clears up a lot of questions! All prescriptions being imported should have an accompanying letter from the prescribing doctor informing who they are for and what the dosage is. Basically 30 day max allowed of controlled drugs. Any more requires a license at the discretion of UK Govt.
https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs