Needles/controlled meds

Old Jan 14, 20, 5:57 pm
  #1  
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Needles/controlled meds

So I am traveling from BNA-LAX. That is a positioning flight. We will stay at an airport hotel overnight then we will go back to LAX to go to HKG via CX in J. AFter spending 5 days in HKG will will then go to MNL (again on CX in J). From MNL we are then headed to Manila's other smaller airport (sorry I dont know its code) to board Amanpulo's private plane for a stay there. Then after our stay at Pulo we head MNL-HKG-LAX-DFW-BNA.

I am fairly new to disability travel and carrying needles and controlled substances. I will need in my carry on a couple of narcotics and Valium along with a slew of other meds- literally over a dozen. In addition to that I have Epi Pens that must be with me in the cabin along with insulin and needles for that. I am concerned about going through airport security in foreign countries. It has not been a problem when I fly domestically. I do have TSA Pre and Global Entry. Furthermore I cannot go through the backscatter machines due to an implanted medical device and that area of my body cannot be wanded. I am fine with a pat down, its just the price I have to pay and I have resigned myself to it. I do carry a card that states this (of course its only in english). Wow I am tired just after typing all that!

I plan to keep all my meds in their original bottles as dispensed from the pharmacy and I will only carry enough for my own personal use but this is a 2 week trip and i require all these meds daily. My doctor will write a note explaining my need for all of the above as well, but again it will be in english. And I also carry a red sharps disposal box to hold my used needles.

So my question is do I need to do anything else? Do I need to somehow alert either HKG and MNL customs in advance? I did we when went to SIN last year.

Side note to look at me you would never guess how sick i am. In fact I look quite the opposite as a 6 foot 2 muscular guy.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 14, 20, 6:46 pm
  #2  
 
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Sounds like a fun trip. I can't tell you much about bringing in narcotics into those countries.

I can suggest help with your heat sensitive medical products. I travel with insulin pens and I don't usually have a problem, but if I travel to a warm climate and my carryon bag is exposed to warm temperatures for too long, it has ruined my insulin in the past. Like your transfer from MNL to another airport to the short flight might be long enough that your bag gets too warm.

I found a product called a Frio bag that allows me to not worry so much about my insulin during extended time in hot weather. It doesn't chill the product, but it uses evaporation to keep it from getting too warm. Mine has been all over the world with me and I have not had a problem with my insulin getting too warm since I got it. Nothing worse than ruining all your insulin pens before you even get to the destination. I bought my pouch on Amazon. Mine will hold 5 pens, but others would hold even more. I have never had a problem with TSA or any other country bringing the pouch through (even though its gel and the pens have liquid). Most security won't even try to open it.

I thought you might find that of some use in your travels. Happy travels.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 8:34 pm
  #3  
 
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For each country you will be entering, check online (Google for starters seems to work) find the Agency/Authority for "importing drugs". It may be a variation of those words, etc.


That should tell you what is or is not allowed, plus any special permissions, and where to get those. With email these days, we've found that very easy and fast.

It can be oddball. Japan will not allow regular (original formula) Sudafed tablets. No way, no how. (There seems to be a work-around using a compounding pharmacy, to get better "dilution", but we didn't bother checking further.)
But there were two different agencies we needed to contact.
What we did that time was just send an email stating what meds we were each planning to bring, what quantities/how many days/etc.
They wrote back listing the restricted meds, telling us when we needed permissions and in a couple of cases that we'd be exceeding a max. (Since we both take a lot of the same meds, we just made sure that between the two of us, we had "enough".)

We always have original labeled containers, and we've switched many to tiny ziploc type bags, with a new label attached. Then the air can be pressed out, and they can just be layered.

And we have copies of all scripts, plus a letter from our physician(s) stating that the <name of med> is required for medical purposes. Special mention is made of an injectable. We also have copies of everything in the cloud, just in case the paper copies get misplaced.

We just keep that same packet and take it on each trip. After a few years, we get fresh copies.
Perhaps because we are starting to look more and more like "Early Geezers" (!?), most times I've started to reach into the bag, saying, "I've got all the documents right here...", they seem to smile and wave us along.
but it's better safe than sorry!

For any airports where we stayed airside, we had the same ready, of course.
[There was one connecting airport where we would have liked to have a quick tour of the nearby area, but... there had recently been some nastiness with a tourist arrested, jailed, and held, though it seemed all was *not* 'right'. Still... we stayed in the airport. The penalties can be dramatically harsh in a few places, should things go sideways. Thank goodness for decent (!??) transit hotels these days.]

We joke that having all the docs/etc., is sort of like carrying an umbrella. Then it won't rain

GC
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Old Jan 14, 20, 9:03 pm
  #4  
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Check local security & Customs rules for each med and each device, e.g. syringe. Print all of that out, along with the letter on your doc's stationery and paper copies of the scrips for anything that requires one in any country.

Then check security rules regarding searches. Not everyone allows opt outs and it may be necessary to present very specific instructions from your doc as to what you can and cannot tolerate.
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