Medication Travel Tips
According to a 2014 article by AYTM.com, July is the busiest month to go on vacation followed by August. Whether you plan to travel by train, car or plane to your next destination, it is important for you to understand the procedures for traveling with medications.
Luckily, as community pharmacists, we can help educate you on the process.
Below are four tips you can and should follow while traveling with medications:
When flying with medications:
If you have prescriptions and the like that you need to bring with you while traveling by plane, you should follow guidelines by the FDA, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
If you are on multiple medications, don't worry; you are able to bring an unlimited amount of medicinal items with you in the form of a tablet, capsule or solid as long as these items are screened. Anything liquid that exceeds the 3.4 ounces limit are allowed in carry-on bags as long as it is a reasonable amount. Simply alert a screening agent at checkpoint of any and all liquid medications you have on you.
Never leave yourself hanging; if you need regular access to your medications, be sure to have quantities in both your carry-on luggage and check bags.
While the TSA does not require your medications to be in prescription bottles, some states do. For concerns and inquiries regarding this matter, patients should contact the TSA at 866-289-9673.
When traveling internationally:
If flying in to the United States from a foreign country, the best resource to review is the CBP. In general, there are three things to keep in mind when returning to U.S. soil:Claim your medications upon arrivalHave the medications in the original containersHave a valid prescription from a licensed U.S. practitionerMore general tips regarding flying with medications can be found here.
When purchasing medications overseas:
If traveling overseas with the hope to purchase foreign-made versions of U.S. FDA-approved drugs due to being cheaper, reconsider. These are typically frowned upon, and if you are ripped off, there is little the government can do to protect you.
If you are needing low-cost alternatives to medications, speak with a pharmacist first. Gatti pharmacists can help you find a better solution to save money like directing you to patient assistance programs or introducing you to a generic form of the drug.
Typically, here is when it is suitable to purchase drugs overseas:Beginning treatment for a condition in a foreign country and needing to continue treatment while in the U.S.A serious medical condition calls for a foreign medication due to no treatment currently available here in the states.
In addition, different rules and regulations are in place for controlled and uncontrolled substances. For uncontrolled substances, policies fall under the individual state while controlled medications are regulated on state and federal levels.
Prescriptions must be written in advance from registered locations by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Anyone needing to travel with controlled substances can learn more here.
By knowing the rules and regulations for the various types of travel with medications, you will be able to prevent any issues arising while staying within state and federal guidelines.