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Rx drugs in South Korea - is there a prohibited/controlled list?

Rx drugs in South Korea - is there a prohibited/controlled list?

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Old Aug 25, 15, 11:55 pm   -   Wikipost
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all thanks to superguy!
You can email your Rx drug questions to the KFDA directly at [email protected]

If you tell them the drugs your prescribed (brand and generic names, if applicable), they'll tell you if they're controlled or not and give you further instructions.

Response time 12-24 hours and could save you from complications, if any upon arrival at ICN.
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Old Jun 18, 15, 1:35 pm
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Rx drugs in South Korea - is there a prohibited/controlled list?

Hey all,

I'm going to Korea in about a month for work and in doing some of the pre-trip paperwork, I learned that one of the meds I'm prescribed - Adderall - appears to be illegal in Korea.

I also take some meds for depression, cholesterol, migraines, and stomach issues.

Seeing as how Asian countries tend to have stricter drug laws, I don't want to end up in jail. Is there a list of medicines anywhere that lists what's outright banned, what's restricted/acceptable with permission, and what's good to go? I've been poking around on Korea's customs and FDA sites to find information. I saw that some meds may be ok with permission, but I can't find how to apply, or how long the process takes.

Worst case, I can do without some of the meds for a couple weeks if I have to. I just want to make sure I understand what I can bring and what I can't, so I can plan accordingly.

Thanks!

Super
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Old Jun 18, 15, 8:03 pm
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Just have your prescription form(s) handy and bring them in their labelled prescription bottles and you'll be fine. It's not illegal to bring your legally prescribed medicines. Chances are Korean customs won't even bat an eye at you and your luggage when you go through the arrivals.
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Old Jun 24, 15, 11:59 am
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Probably not, but I found out the Aderall is restricted and requires an narcotics permit to bring it in.

Just for anyone's future benefit, the Korean FDA told me this what needs to be done:

Please submit the followings:

1. passport copy (clearly visible)

2. prescription (for each controlled medicine you will carry into; recently issued for validity)

3. doctor's letter indicating dosage and total volume

4. e-ticket copy (both tickets for arrival to and departure from Korea)

5. application form - both of forms attached

6. document certifying school/course admission (study visit only)

*Note:

1. The quantitiy on application 02 means the total quantity of medicine you carry into Korea, and it should be the amount you will consume all during the visit based on the doctor's letter, prescription, and e-ticket.

2. You should clearly put the total amount of each medicine you carry into in both applications (with both of trade name and ingredients name). (e.g. Adderall XR (Amphetamine), 162 pills in total (180 mg/day))

3. Please submit documents as soon as possible because issuing permit takes up to 10 days from the date application is accepted.

4. If you are a temporary visitor to Korea, you can get an inbound permit from our division. But if you will stay in Korea for a long time, you should submit some documents verifying it. The maximum amount of medicines you can carry in is for 3 months, and sending controlled substances by parcel post for personal use is strickly forbidden.
The KDFA has been very responsive and has been responding to my emails within about 12 hours or so - pretty much the difference between our work days. The process is a little painful, but at least it's pretty clear.
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Old Jun 24, 15, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Probably not, but I found out the Aderall is restricted and requires an narcotics permit to bring it in.

Just for anyone's future benefit, the Korean FDA told me this what needs to be done:



The KDFA has been very responsive and has been responding to my emails within about 12 hours or so - pretty much the difference between our work days. The process is a little painful, but at least it's pretty clear.
That's quite helpful. Thanks superguy.
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Old Jun 24, 15, 2:03 pm
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It appears the most they will allow you to bring in is enough to cover your trip. I haven't asked them yet about having a couple spares for IRROPS and stuff.
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Old Aug 18, 15, 8:14 am
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I'm flying from the uk for 10 days and taking 2 controlled substances with me... I've got a Drs letter - how do I contact the Korean FDA??!! I'm leaving in 2 weeks and i'll be buggered if I can't go through with it... I'm only taking hand luggage!!
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Old Aug 19, 15, 8:38 am
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You don't need to contact the FDA. In reality, they probably won't check. Having a doctor's note just in case will suffice.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 9:14 am
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I tend to be a bit overprepared as I know how my luck is.

I ended up not making the trip due to a car accident the day before I left so I can't report on how things went. I'm not sure if the trip will be rescheduled. If it is, I'll report back.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by Frank6002 View Post
I'm flying from the uk for 10 days and taking 2 controlled substances with me... I've got a Drs letter - how do I contact the Korean FDA??!! I'm leaving in 2 weeks and i'll be buggered if I can't go through with it... I'm only taking hand luggage!!
and a copy of the prescription.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:06 pm
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fingers crossed!!
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:09 pm
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Im taking 72 diazepam tablets with me and 20 bupronopherine - and I was only planning on taking hand luggage! Stupid the dr wont just give me 10mg instead of 5mg and halve the amount but I was all good going to italy - South Korea's a different story from what I've read though... But I've tried the uk embassy, Korean embassy... Fingers crossed!
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Frank6002 View Post
Im taking 72 diazepam tablets with me and 20 bupronopherine - and I was only planning on taking hand luggage! Stupid the dr wont just give me 10mg instead of 5mg and halve the amount but I was all good going to italy - South Korea's a different story from what I've read though... But I've tried the uk embassy, Korean embassy... Fingers crossed!
Just follow Aventine's advice upthread. Safe travels!

Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Just have your prescription form(s) handy and bring them in their labelled prescription bottles and you'll be fine. It's not illegal to bring your legally prescribed medicines. Chances are Korean customs won't even bat an eye at you and your luggage when you go through the arrivals.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Frank6002 View Post
Im taking 72 diazepam tablets with me and 20 bupronopherine - and I was only planning on taking hand luggage! Stupid the dr wont just give me 10mg instead of 5mg and halve the amount but I was all good going to italy - South Korea's a different story from what I've read though... But I've tried the uk embassy, Korean embassy... Fingers crossed!
I'm sure there's a legit medical reason why you have so many pills. You could always PM the FT posters who got the Ministry of Food and Safety (KFDA) contacts and forms to be absolutely sure.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 5:53 am
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You can email your Rx drug questions to the KFDA directly at [email protected]

If you tell them the drugs your prescribed (brand and generic names, if applicable), they'll tell you if they're controlled or not and give you further instructions.

I've found them very quick to respond and very polite. I usually had a response within 24 hours, with many times a lot sooner if I emailed late evening EST.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 27, 15, 5:04 am
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Great - that's the email I needed, I've tried several others and had no reply at all. I know that the buprenorphine is 100% a banned substance over there.
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