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bringing prescription drugs into Russia

My son is leaving at the end of July for 10 months in Moscow where he will be teaching English. He was recently prescribed a couple of drugs that are in the category that require he use the "red line" at customs when arriving in Moscow. From what I've read, he should have a copy of his prescriptions with him. These days, with everything done electronically from the doctor's office to the pharmacy, we don't get any paperwork. Does anyone know what he should have with him in addition to the actual drugs in their original prescription bottles? He will have a 9 month supply since we don't think he will be able to get the meds locally in Moscow nor will I be able to mail him refills and have any confidence they will get thru customs.

Alternatively, does anyone know who/where I should ask this question? As far as I can tell the Russian embassy does not have an email address. Our doctor does not know the prescription med rules for Russia.


Posted by
1935 posts

When traveling to other countries where there might be a problem w/ prescription drugs, it is advised to have an actual letter from the prescribing doctor stating what the drugs are and the medical reason the patient is taking them.

You might also check the State Department Travel advice for Russia to see if any specific requirements are outlined for prescriptions.

Just in case the prescriptions should wind up out of his hands for any reason, I would also suggest having paper copies of the prescriptions, so he could get them filled in Russia, should the need arise (if taking the prescriptions is critical to his health).

While you did not ask, it is always a good idea to see what hospitals, doctors, pharmacies are in his/your medical insurance network for where he will be traveling (we do that even when we are taking a one-week trip to another country). It's easy to scan that and store it on a PC, phone, or even a reduced-sized paper copy.

Here is the email I just found at the very bottom of the Russian Embassy in the US, under the contact icon at the very bottom of the home page:

Posted by
3681 posts

The Russia thing is way above my pay grade. He might start with his employer about that. US Embassy folks might also be a help with this. I'm sure some take meds and have to get more from time to time.

Our doctors send our prescriptions to both an online mail delivery service and a local brick and mortar pharmacy.

I can print the details from the former myself or go to the latter and get a copy. I've also had the doctor write out the prescriptions for us.

I'd guess that one issue might be getting a script for 9 months since the max is usually 3 months, but his situation is special, so maybe that could be worked out.

Posted by
157 posts

My son arrived in Moscow a few weeks ago. He said entering Russia was way easier than entering the US. While he had notes from his doctors as well as copies of the receipts for all the prescriptions I don't think customs looked at any of it.