6 vital steps for transporting your medication overseas

Unknowingly buying counterfeit medication overseas is becoming more frequent (with time). Unfortunately such a purchase could lead to health risks and on occasion could be fatal. The quality of overseas medication cannot be assured. They may contain toxic contaminants, the wrong medications or wrong doses.

Medications bought in Australia are highly regulated and have a substantially reduced risk of these problems. If you intend to take medication from Australia overseas there are a few simple steps to avoid trouble at customs/foreign borders. 

  • Prescriptions written by doctors in Australia cannot be filled overseas. Try and take enough of your regular medications from home to last your entire trip.
  • Keep your medication in their original foil packaging and boxes. Never have loose tablets floating around in your bag
  • Even pharmacy items should be kept in their original packaging. You can ask the chemist to put a labelled sticker on the items.
  • Carry regular medications (or at least several days supply) in hand luggage in case your checked-in luggage is lost
  • Take a letter written by your regular doctor listing your prescription medications and any needles/syringes/EpiPen/insulin pens or pump you will be carrying. If needed ask at the appropriate consulate whether you need to have your medication letter translated
  • Certain legal medications in Australia may be illegal in other countries eg codeine. Enquire at the country’s embassy/consulate to find out whether medications are allowed/regulated.
  • If possible keep medications in a dry cool place. If medication is required to stay cold pack them in a cooler bag/insulated bag

More information can be found on the smartraveller.gov.au website.

Disclaimer: The information on the Shepparton Travel Clinic website has been prepared for general information purpose only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. Shepparton Travel Clinic does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.