Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Indian Ocean
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Re: Prescription medications in your kit
I'm a retired physician. Between the wife (RN) and I we can just about run a code on the the boat and treat sepsis as well as treat most fractures or shock. Still although I set up the kit and had the luxury of getting stuff from my hospital or office I did not. Used a friend to write 'scripts for me. That said
if you are searched while clearing in or stopped in foreign waters and you don't have the name of the person on the supplies on the boat you're probably going to be in a whole lot of hurt. No real purpose to have meds written to the boat for cruisers. Think it would be a hassle if searched and easier to just write meds to owner.
What's OTC in other countries tends to be much more extensive then what's OTC in the US. This decreases exposure for some things. There is much argument about how far out you can use meds past their expiration date. Our current med kit has gone back and forth from carribean and is two years old. In spite of being just past due everything is being replaced. We are leaving for a year on the 20th. They will remain in their orginal packing with my name on it although that's inefficient to prevent difficulties with authorities in the the future.
A more common hassle is that many daily meds come as 3 month supply. Difficult when you are out the your home country and moving for more than three months.
Most insurance requires an "indication" documented if they are going to pay for meds. Difficult for the meds usually placed in a Med kit so very expensive to replace.
In 17 years years of cruising, no official ever checked our extensive medical equipment, including prescription drugs for my name, the boat name or my wife's name. In Mexico we were able to get USA style prescription drugs just for the asking at the pharmacy. The Australians were most interested in the sudafed...we had to record the amounts on hand and if any were consumed, it had to be recorded in the log book. A customs seal was placed on each OTC package. They didn't bother with the injectible morphine ampoules or the other opiate based pain killers. Have been replacing various items here in Asia, all available at the pharmacy, for the asking. I'd tell you the price, but it may give most of you a coronary due to the absolute low cost.
We found a cruiser friendly Doctor in Seattle who provided what we asked for and also suggested some we did not. All paid for by my company sponsored insurance program. My gal was an RN and trauma nurse, so were really well prepared. But, I'll guess 99 percent of the prescription drug items were never used. Seems we go through ibuprofen the most.
You may find once you are offshore that obtaining the meds you require is quite easy and at a fraction of the cost back home. Good luck and stay healthy!
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