Make sure you have the right medicine when you travel


If you rely on medicine or medical equipment — be it blood-pressure tablets, asthma treatment or EpiPens for allergies — don’t simply assume that it will be available everywhere you travel.

You will certainly find that some prescription-only drugs are available over the counter in other countries, but you may find that something you really need is unavailable, overpriced, often faked or even illegal.

The best solution is to get enough of what you need before you travel and take it with you. But things can be lost and holidays can run overtime, so you do need to do some research. Also, you’ll need to check that it is legal to carry that medicine, in that quantity, to your destination and transit countries.

Google is, as always, your friend. But make sure you drill down to an authoritative site. You need to know if the drugs you rely on — or decent alternatives — are available and legal where you are going, and then get an idea of where to buy them and how much they will cost.

Fakes are everywhere and they can be very convincing. The first clue should be in the packaging — if it looks photocopied or it’s full of spelling errors, that’s a fairly good indicator that it is not the real deal. Wherever you buy, try to speak to a qualified pharmacist rather than a shop assisitant.

Also, especially if you are going to be away for a while, do some price comparison. Many cities have drug wholesalers that can save you significant amounts of money. As always, shop where the locals do.

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