Travelling abroad with medication.
It is an individual’s responsibility to establish the rules for medication for their destination, airline and any country they are travelling through. These may all be different!
Individuals need to remember to check the rules for both prescribed AND over-the-counter medications. In some areas, common over-the-counter medications such as nasal decongestant inhalers and cough linctus are banned.
- Local regulations (e.g. in Turkey, China and Singapore) may require individuals to get a licence for carriage of ANY personal medication.
- Individuals may need a doctor’s letter and to get this translated by an authorised body for any medication to be carried.
Even travelling within Europe may require some care if an individual is using controlled drugs:
- Government advice is that an individual must be able to prove controlled medication belongs to them to travel into or out of the UK.
- This requires a letter outlining use and countersigned by ‘the person who prescribed the drugs’.
- If carrying more than 3 months’ supply, they will also need a Home Office licence: https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs
Requests for extra supplies of medication for patients who wish to travel abroad
If a patient is going to be abroad for more than 3 months, all that he or she is entitled to at NHS expense is a sufficient supply of his/her regular medication to get to the destination and find an alternative supply of that medication abroad.
GPs are not responsible for the prescribing of ‘just in case’ items for conditions which may arise while abroad or traveling.
While a letter may be required for travel, this is not an NHS service. Primary Care can charge patients for the time taken to write the letter, or can decline to provide a letter and direct patients to private travel clinics for this service.
Please contact the surgery if you need any more information regarding this service.
If requesting a letter in writing you should include:
- Your name and passport number.
- Travel plans – dates of travel to each destination, including flight details.
- The name of your prescribed drugs.
- Total quantity and dose: specify correct amount needed for travel.
- Information on whether the medication will be required DURING the flight.