In developed countries a vast number of new drugs, experimental treatments and therapies are tested every day.
In developing countries, it’s another story however. You may find that drugs which can be easily purchased over the counter in your home country, become a real struggle to find in your new country.
If you take medication on a regular basis, it’s important that you organise how you are going to manage your drug supply before heading off on your adventure.
Limitations to drug supply
Regardless of the country you move to, you are likely to have to navigate a new healthcare system. If you are moving to a developing country you have to accept that the drug supply may be limited due to shortages which you may not have had to deal with before.
Find out what the public healthcare facilities look like in the country you are moving to. If it is well below the standards you are accustomed to, you may require private medical insurance so you have a greater access to the drug supply. This will also be important if you urgently require treatment as your insurance can cover you for emergency evacuation.
It is also likely that the latest treatments are not available in developing countries, regardless of the type of insurance plan you have, so this is worth bearing in mind if you have a pre-existing condition.
Bringing medication with you
Depending on the country you are traveling to and customs, you may not be able to take a year’s supply of prescription drugs with you. So what can you do?
First of all, you should make an appointment with your own doctor before leaving and ask him to write you a prescription in English as well as a letter saying that those drugs are for your personal use. The number of drug supplies you can bring with you is dependent on the customs in your receiving country.
If you plan to move abroad on a long-term basis and require regular medication, you may want to look into a medication delivery service in which your supplies can be shipped to you. Again, the amount you can purchase at any one time will be dependent on the country you are residing in, i.e. 90 days worth of medication.
As a side note, It’s always a good idea to know the scientific name of your medication too as the brand name may not exist in the country you are moving to. Also, depending on the language in your country, you may also benefit from having your prescription translated before you leave.