Yesterday we looked at remembering to take your pills and the habit-forming that can help with that (and the apps that can help there too) but what if you’re travelling and get into difficulties when bringing your medicine or medical device(s) into another country?
Here’s an interesting piece in Reuters about the challenges faced by international travellers who need to bring medication (the main focus of the reported study) or a medical device with them. In particular it looks at the information available on embassies’ websites, or directly from them when a request for information is made by email. Clearly there is conflicting advice being given to patients about how much medication they can carry with them and what extra evidence might be needed to prove that the medicines are theirs and being used appropriately.
“For international travelers who need to carry medical devices and medications with them, it’s not easy to find out the travel requirements at their destinations, and embassies in general aren’t much help, according to a new study.
The researchers explored embassy and consular websites looking for the quantities and different types of medication allowed in the country for personal use, required documentation, customs information and details about traveling with medical equipment. They also sent a standardized email to each embassy asking those same questions.
Neither the embassy and consular websites nor the email responses addressed medical equipment.
The lack of information for travelers offered by local embassies may sometimes indicate a lack of suitable regulations in destination countries, or that no one knows where to find them, said Dr. Irmgard Bauer of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, who was not part of the study. She called the situation a “huge mess.””
Read the full story here Travel with medications, medical devices can be daunting (27 August 2014) Reuters
Source: Mutie M, Cooper G, Kyle G, Naunton M and Zwar N (2014)
Travelling with medications and medical equipment across international borders Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease Published Online: August 06, 2014
Summary: The international traveller needs to plan ahead to ensure medicines are available and used as directed for optimal therapeutic outcome. The planning needs to take account of legal and customs requirements for travelling with medicines for personal use. The standard advice by travel health providers is that travellers should check with the country of destination for requirements when travelling into the country with medicines for personal use. This is akin to introducing a barrier to care for this category of travellers. Innovative method of care for this group of traveller is needed.