What you should know about travelling with medication overseas before you go
Planning an overseas trip? If you’ve got medication you’re planning on taking with you make sure you read these below tips which could save your life.
Recent baggage delays globally have resulted in many travellers being left without their luggage and in some cases their life saving medication. It’s put a spotlight on the complexities of travelling with medication and highlighted how travel insurance may be able to help.
There are so many things that can delay your return home at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic when travellers are being quarantined at short, or no notice. The situation has been compounded by COVID-19, with doctors reluctant or unable to visit travellers in their hotel rooms if they have tested positive, making getting a new prescription difficult. We suggest travelling with at least an extra two weeks’ worth of any critical medication for your health.
It pays to plan ahead and prepare in case you run out of your medication while overseas. You should consider before you go:
• Travel insurance: most travel insurance providers, including nib, offer 24/7 Emergency Assistance. Depending on the urgency of the situation, these teams may be able to help you find local or telehealth facilities, or get medication prescribed and couriered to you.
• Your local doctor: if you don’t have travel insurance, speak to your doctor before you go about the options they may have to help you if it’s needed.
• Local medical facilities: you can also attend local medical facilities and see if they are able to help. If you have travel insurance, you may be able to claim back the costs of emergency medical treatment.
The rules are different overseas which means your medication might be legal in Australia, but illegal in another country, potentially leading to fines, confiscated medication, or worse… getting arrested and jailed.
• Check your medication’s status: start by contacting the consulate or embassy of the country/ies you are heading to or through for a list of what is or isn’t legal... even if you’re transiting you must comply with local laws and that means not carrying drugs through a country where the medications are illegal.
• Find an alternative: if you find your medication is illegal in the countries you’re visiting, talk to your local doctor about alternatives they can prescribe.
Whatever you do – do not risk taking medication you know is illegal in the country you are heading to. If that is the case and you have no alternatives, then you should seriously reconsider your need to travel there.