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Stronger Prescription Drugs in Singapore

Stronger Prescription Drugs in Singapore

Old Feb 14, 18, 9:27 am
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Stronger Prescription Drugs in Singapore

I thought I'd start my own thread because I have a more serious case with prescription medications because of a car accident. I am prescribed for my Arthritis, Crohns disease, and permanent medical conditions that have left cartilage and bone in areas they are not suppose to be. Here are the drugs I take that are all prescribed:

(Serious medicine)

Many of my friends joke that I carry a pharmacy in my bag, but it's all for personal use and I am very responsible about it. When entering the US, CBP agents have viewed all my prescription medicines and while they've made comments about it, they've never hassled me about it.

I'm just wondering what Singapore customs will do if anything. Should I get a letter from my Pain/Arthritis doctor as well as my Gastroenterologist explaining my medical conditions? I've never been to Singapore, and now I'm considered that maybe it will be a problem.

Last edited by Edgerfly; Feb 15, 18 at 2:31 pm
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Old Feb 14, 18, 11:12 am
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Official source: Bringing Personal Medications into Singapore | HSA | Health Sciences Authority
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Old Feb 14, 18, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by jadecocoa View Post
I'm getting"page not found."
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Old Feb 14, 18, 11:37 am
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It says you can't take in 100mg of Opium, but if I have medication thats 2mg that has opium in it how can I know for certain how much opium is in there?
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Edgerfly View Post
I'm getting"page not found."
Try reloading - it's working for me now (Chrome browser...)

Though maybe, based on your next question, you did get it to load.

We did this a couple years ago - followed the rules, faxed the letter from MD and prescription, received permission (ours was just one drug, not sure about multiples) No one ever asked or checked....

[I've noted that SIN is probably the only place I'd follow this rule concerning Rx for personal use]
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:03 pm
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I've entered Dubai with all these medicines, if its any consolation.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:06 pm
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There is a mandatory death penalty for drug smuggling in Singapore. Obviously for higher doses than what you have but that's not a country I would take any chances with.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:09 pm
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Still not loading.

I'm not smuggling, I'm just trying to enter the country with my own personal medicine for my health issues.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:18 pm
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That's missing the point about being careful.

Here is the text you need to know:

You will need to get a licence if you are importing
  • medicines of more than 3 months' supply
  • medicines containing psychotropic substances and/or controlled drugs (Appendix A) e.g. anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, strong painkillers, etc.
  • medicines containing more than 21.6g of Pseudoephedrine and/or Ephedrine
  • more than 20 tablets/capsules containing Codeine or Dextromethorphan, or if each tablet/capsule contains more than 30mg of Codeine or Dextromethorphan
  • more than 240mL liquid medicine containing Codeine or Dextromethorphan, or if the liquid medicine contains more than 15mg per 5 mL of Codeine or Dextromethorphan

How to Apply for a Licence

Fill in the application form and submit it with the following supporting documents:
  • A copy of your doctor's prescription or written recommendation verifying the dosage and total quantity of the medicines to be imported into Singapore
  • A copy of the flight details/travel itinerary
  • A copy of your passport page with personal particulars
You should apply at least 10 working days before your arrival.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:20 pm
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Straight to Hong Kong for me

I mean are Singaporean Customs really that strict? UAE Customs are supposedly very strict too, and I was able to bring in my medicine without them even taking my bags aside despite them being scanned. The medications are for personal use, and its pretty evident so since they are in bottles for an individual and my name are on the bottles. Would it help to bring a letter from my doctor?

I hate to have to skip Singapore all because I'm sick and have to take medicine. Seems pretty trivial and silly to me.

I would apply for a license but for some reason those pages are not loading for me, I don't know why.

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Feb 15, 18 at 12:43 am Reason: Combine consecutive posts of same member.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Edgerfly View Post
I mean are Singaporean Customs really that strict? UAE Customs are supposedly very strict too, and I was able to bring in my medicine without them even taking my bags aside despite them being scanned. The medications are for personal use, and its pretty evident so since they are in bottles for an individual and my name are on the bottles. Would it help to bring a letter from my doctor?

I hate to have to skip Singapore all because I'm sick and have to take medicine. Seems pretty trivial and silly to me.
So the Singapore government isn't really concerned with what one may feel is trivial or silly. Sudafed is a controlled substance in some SE Asia countries because it can be used to make meth. It can be bought over the counter in the airside Changi pharmacies, but they record your personal details and keep track of how much/often you are buying. There are laws and regulations and they are what they are. Abide by them and you won't have an issue. Don't abide by them... well Fredrik74 already mentioned that death is an option. This isn't an idle threat of death. Here is the public information of the judicial executions and the offenses: https://data.gov.sg/dataset/judicial-executions?view_id=8039e7f1-9e26-4891-add2-419719dfa217&resource_id=c8630e0f-e9e3-478a-91e7-85c9fea5e3db

It is no longer mandatory though, the courts have some discretion. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...enalty-8369356

How much time do you have before your trip?

If you PM me an email address I will be happy to send you a PDF of the page you can't seem to get to load and also the attached PDFs which would need to be filled out. Or you could email [email protected].

I agree it would be unfortunate for you to have to skip Singapore, but note that you will also not want to transit the airport without these precautions as they do random arrivals security checks into the shared airside transit where you put your bags through scanners and go through metal detectors just like outbound security at the airport. I've gone through this a number of times this past year. Note that this Aussie kid was merely transiting the airport. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Tuong_Nguyen

While it all sounds grim, note that all you need to do is understand the situation and follow the rules.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
So the Singapore government isn't really concerned with what one may feel is trivial or silly. Sudafed is a controlled substance in some SE Asia countries because it can be used to make meth. It can be bought over the counter in the airside Changi pharmacies, but they record your personal details and keep track of how much/often you are buying. There are laws and regulations and they are what they are. Abide by them and you won't have an issue. Don't abide by them... well Fredrik74 already mentioned that death is an option. This isn't an idle threat of death. Here is the public information of the judicial executions and the offenses: https://data.gov.sg/dataset/judicial...7-85c9fea5e3db

It is no longer mandatory though, the courts have some discretion. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...enalty-8369356

How much time do you have before your trip?

If you PM me an email address I will be happy to send you a PDF of the page you can't seem to get to load and also the attached PDFs which would need to be filled out. Or you could email [email protected].

I agree it would be unfortunate for you to have to skip Singapore, but note that you will also not want to transit the airport without these precautions as they do random arrivals security checks into the shared airside transit where you put your bags through scanners and go through metal detectors just like outbound security at the airport. I've gone through this a number of times this past year. Note that this Aussie kid was merely transiting the airport. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Tuong_Nguyen

While it all sounds grim, note that all you need to do is understand the situation and follow the rules.

Oh I believe you, what Iím saying or suggesting rather is in practice things might be a lot different. I do not know, nor do I really want to take the chance but my gut tells me itís very different in practice. They are looking for legitimate drug traffickers carrying large amounts that are obvious for distribution. Not some old guy with 6-7 prescribed pill bottles. The UAE also has very similar laws regarding codeine and opiates, but I entered and left that country with no problems. They too, just like China and just like Singapore, scan your entire bag when you enter the country.

Also, FWIW, Iíve gone through SIN security numerous times on connections either on SQ or on EK and never once had a problem. If a security screener sees a bunch of organic material in bottles they donít pull it aside. This is universal everywhere Iíve gone through security, just saying.

And P.S. the pseudoephedrine buying OTC, and your info being recorded is done in the US too.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by Edgerfly View Post



Oh I believe you, what Iím saying or suggesting rather is in practice things might be a lot different. I do not know, nor do I really want to take the chance but my gut tells me itís very different in practice. They are looking for legitimate drug traffickers carrying large amounts that are obvious for distribution. Not some old guy with 6-7 prescribed pill bottles. The UAE also has very similar laws regarding codeine and opiates, but I entered and left that country with no problems. They too, just like China and just like Singapore, scan your entire bag when you enter the country.

Also, FWIW, Iíve gone through SIN security numerous times on connections either on SQ or on EK and never once had a problem. If a security screener sees a bunch of organic material in bottles they donít pull it aside. This is universal everywhere Iíve gone through security, just saying.

And P.S. the pseudoephedrine buying OTC, and your info being recorded is done in the US too.
Could be. I havenít lived in the US in nearly 30 years. During my trips there Iíve never had any details recorded when buying any OTC medications,including Sudafed.

And yes, you may very well not have any issues coming through Singapore. If you do, it wonít be because you didnít know.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Could be. I havenít lived in the US in nearly 30 years. During my trips there Iíve never had any details recorded when buying any OTC medications,including Sudafed.
Yes, pseudoephedrine is "over the counter" in the US, but you have to ask for it - it's stored behind the counter, and your drivers license (presumably other ID would be an option for non-drivers or non-Americans) is needed & data are recorded. There's a limit for how much you can buy in a certain period. These regulations were enacted in 2006.
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/meth/cma2005.htm
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Old Feb 15, 18, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by Edgerfly View Post


Oh I believe you, what Iím saying or suggesting rather is in practice things might be a lot different. I do not know, nor do I really want to take the chance but my gut tells me itís very different in practice. They are looking for legitimate drug traffickers carrying large amounts that are obvious for distribution. Not some old guy with 6-7 prescribed pill bottles. The UAE also has very similar laws regarding codeine and opiates, but I entered and left that country with no problems. They too, just like China and just like Singapore, scan your entire bag when you enter the country.

Also, FWIW, Iíve gone through SIN security numerous times on connections either on SQ or on EK and never once had a problem. If a security screener sees a bunch of organic material in bottles they donít pull it aside. This is universal everywhere Iíve gone through security, just saying.

And P.S. the pseudoephedrine buying OTC, and your info being recorded is done in the US too.
Rather than complain about whether "the rules" make sense, why not follow them?
That means... just fill out the forms and get the proper permissions.

We had several problematic meds we *needed* to bring with us to Japan last year. So far, that's been the most "strict" of the countries we've visited.
So we contacted the authorities, and found that some of our meds were unrestricted. Some had limitations on the number of days supply (without requesting special permission). Some needed special permission no matter the amount. Some needed special permission for a given limited amount; for more, another permission was required. And some needed that second permission from another office no matter the amount/quantity. Sudafed turned out to be the most difficult to deal with, even more so than controlled substances.

But we sent in the forms (some to two offices), and got all the proper permissions. They required an "entry" form and an "exit" form. The "exit" form was interesting with respect to "quantity", when it was a PRN med, so who knew how much would be left...? So we put in "whatever is left", and that apparently was just fine.

The above sounds time consuming, but it really wasn't.
Plus, we always (ALWAYS) travel with a signed letter from physician (on proper letterhead, etc.) documenting need for all meds that could even remotely considered a problem.

Why risk any problem at all, be it an unpleasant delay or worse?

GC
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