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How can I confirm access to a specific prescription medication?

I am thinking of traveling and staying in Vietnam for an extended period of time. I must be able to get a specific prescription medication. I need to find a doctor who will prescribe it and a pharmacy that will fill it. This is not a typical medication but it is available in generic form. I had problems in Brazil in getting this medication. I would like to communicate with a doctor's office and a pharmacy to see if I will be able to get this medication when I travel to Vietnam. I would appreciate any guidance I can receive on this subject.

First thing to note in Asia.
Take extreme care to keep paperwork and details about any drugs you carry into any country, or have in your possession.
Drug laws are vicious in many parts of Asia, and countries you may transit to get here.
A copy of the prescription and a letter from your doctor would be good ideas, especially if the drug in question is used by addicts or has 'recreational use'.

Next up. Google the name of the drug and find out if it's available in the countries you wish to travel to.
There may well be generic versions, but also fake versions, so take care in what you buy, and from where.

If it is available, and you have a true medical need, a local doctor will prescribe it for you.

[moderated] Indon which is totally different to VietNam. VietNam's civilized. Secondly, in all the hundreds of times I have crossed the VNese border, flying or by surface transport - and even when in a laden transport truck - I have NEVER been searched. If anyone tries to transport drugs in or out of VN, the customs guys have nasty machines, donated by DEA, to test them.

VietNam likes Brazil because in makes generic drugs, as does India, and VN prefers generic drugs since the government supplies drugs to Vietnamese.

You don't need a prescription in VietNam, from a doctor to get drugs. I haven't seen a doctor for a prescription here in VN ever since I came here 22 years ago. If the pharmacist/chemist/drug store thinks you are an abuser they can demand you get a prescription.

Rather than sell 'name' drugs, VN has a formulary by which the pharmacist/chemist/drug store can make up the near equivalent of a name brand by supplying different generics that equate to the name brand.

There are a few pharmacist/chemist/drug stores that legally import name brands, of which I am a customer. I was superposed at exactly what the guy has in stock. Even if you are in a more remote part of VN this company can send drugs via registered mail.

If you PM me with your specific drug needs (generic names) I will ask him if he has them in stick.

I am a pharmacist. Could you tell me about your specific prescription medication in detail? I may help you to find the doctor and the pharmacy to buy your medicines.
You can send me message or email: nguyenlien240783[at]gmail.com.

dfwvillage :

I am thinking of traveling and staying in Vietnam for an extended period of time. I must be able to get a specific prescription medication. I need to find a doctor who will prescribe it and a pharmacy that will fill it. This is not a typical medication but it is available in generic form. I had problems in Brazil in getting this medication. I would like to communicate with a doctor's office and a pharmacy to see if I will be able to get this medication when I travel to Vietnam. I would appreciate any guidance I can receive on this subject.

Specific medication.      What is it called? You don't even say what the chemical formulae is for .......
Or perhaps even the generic name?
Is it a restricted substance globally?
Problems purchasing in Brazil? Why is it that the Doc can't fill a script for this in Brazil?

Very curious indeed.
Oh-    Jaitch can get you all the 'medicines' you request.
Just PM Jaitch. He knows the know.

nguyenlien83 :

I am a pharmacist. Could you tell me about your specific prescription medication in detail? I may help you to find the doctor and the pharmacy to buy your medicines.

NO NEED FOR USD$75 DOCTOR FEES! (in SaiGon)

If you don't look like an addict you can get any drug.

First of all, whilst MAS FRED might think he is an 'expert', he hangs out in Indon

Foolish arrogance is really handy as Vietnam executes drug dealers.

LINK

Nice video there of what arrogance gets you in Vietnam.

LINK

HANOI, 9 May 2011 (IRIN) - International health experts criticize Vietnam’s estimated 70 compulsory drug treatment centres.

The centres are part of a government strategy aimed at "correcting the illegal behaviours of drug use and sex work”, according to UNAIDS.

They are believed to hold 20,000-70,000 drug addicts and/or former sex workers, said a Hanoi-based health expert familiar with Vietnam’s drug treatment procedures.


Regardless of what arrogant people suggest, keep the paperwork for any drugs you have with you when you cross the border.
It might very well help you when you visit the doctor, as he'll be aware of your previous treatment.

As I said in my accurate post, Many countries in SE Asia have very harsh rules concerning drugs - keep that paperwork with your prescription.

VietNam's civilized

So is Indonesia, pal.
Stop with the racist shit.

Thanks, I am only interested in Vietnam and I AM NOT talking about illegal drugs so no need to go over that.

dfwvillage :

Thanks, I am only interested in Vietnam and I AM NOT talking about illegal drugs so no need to go over that.

This is true, but better safe than sorry.
A few bits of paper could easily save you lots of time in a small room, being questioned about tablets.
Customs officers can get keen on their work.

Jaitch :
nguyenlien83 :

I am a pharmacist. Could you tell me about your specific prescription medication in detail? I may help you to find the doctor and the pharmacy to buy your medicines.

NO NEED FOR USD$75 DOCTOR FEES! (in SaiGon)

If you don't look like an addict you can get any drug.

This question is difficult to answer in general terms but that last line certainly isn't true. While there are many prescription drugs in the west which can be bought over the counter here, there are others you aren't going to get at all doctor's visit or no.

The pharmacist is his best bet for reliable info...

Nam_ :
Jaitch :

If you don't look like an addict you can get any drug.

This question is difficult to answer in general terms but that last line certainly isn't true.

[moderated]

Also, there is a circular from the HCMC Health department advising pharmacists to judge the likelihood of a customer abusing any drugs and if, in their opinion, they might - to refuse to fill the prescription. It's part of the anti-drug abuse campaign.

Jaitch :
Nam_ :
Jaitch :

If you don't look like an addict you can get any drug.

This question is difficult to answer in general terms but that last line certainly isn't true.

You don't know the pharmacist in question and his business so your comments aren't valid.

Also, there is a circular from the HCMC Health department advising pharmacists to judge the likelihood of a customer abusing any drugs and if, in their opinion, they might - to refuse to fill the prescription. It's part of the anti-drug abuse campaign.

I don't know you either but given that the subject matter is prescription medication (or medication in general) I think it's reasonable to conclude that the native Vietnamese pharmacist is a better source of information than the foreign entrepreneur. If the subject were foreign entrepreneurship my opinion would be the exact opposite.

The part of the last line I took issue with wasn't the bit about people being denied for looking like addicts but the assertion that you can get any drug here over the counter. You can't. Some prescription drugs in the west can't be obtained by any method here (at least not any legal one), let alone purchased OTC.

Here is what the US State Department has to say about traveling with prescription drugs (http://travel.state.gov/content/passpor … klist.html):

Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications?

If you take prescription medication:

    Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed
.
    Carry your medications in their original labeled containers, and pack them in your carry-on bag since checked baggage is occasionally lost or delayed.

    Ask your pharmacy or physician for the generic equivalent name of your prescriptions in case you need to purchase additional medication abroad.

    Get a letter from your physician in case you are questioned about  your carry-on medication; some countries have strict restrictions on bringing prescription or even non-prescription medications into the country without proper medical documentation.   

While they do not say so directly one should ALWAYS carry with them a copy of their prescription (or an original recently issued by the same physician if doctor is named on the prescription container). To travel without all of the above is just plain foolhardy.

BECAUSE - Here's what the US State Department says about local laws:

Learn about local laws and customs

While traveling, you are subject to the local laws even if you are a U.S. Citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own and it is very important to know what's legal and what's not. If you break local laws while abroad, your U.S. passport won't help you avoid arrest or prosecution, and the U.S. Embassy cannot get you out of jail.

Jaitch :

First of all, whilst MAS FRED might think he is an 'expert', he hangs out in Indon which is totally different to VietNam. VietNam's civilized. Secondly, in all the hundreds of times I have crossed the VNese border, flying or by surface transport - and even when in a laden transport truck - I have NEVER been searched. If anyone tries to transport drugs in or out of VN, the customs guys have nasty machines, donated by DEA, to test them

Jaitch,

While for the most part your postings here on the forum are extremely helpful and accurate, you've really crossed the line with this statement. Obviously you're not at all concerned about making offensive statements about those members who are part of Expat-blog Administrative or Expert.Teams. You should be since it violates both the VIETNAM CODE OF CONDUCT and Terms & Conditions of Use, which you should take the time to read.

While you are free to express opposing opinions, you can do so without making personal comments or abusing ANY other member in any way.

mas_fred's advice was both accurate and important to anyone who travels with medications, you did really come across as being rather arrogant on this issue.

Cheers,
James        Expat-blog Experts Team  ,<--- (take note Jaitch, we're not just regular members)

Oh yes, and it's wise to NEVER say NEVER. While you may have not been searched so far when entering Vietnam, that does not mean you can't or won't be at some point. It certainly doesn't mean that anyone else won't be either.

Thanks for that James.
The greatest of care must be taken when crossing borders with any drugs, even ones that are legal in your home country.

In 2005, UPI reported: "A French man has been arrested in Vietnam for being in possession of prescription drugs that are legal in France but banned in Vietnam. Van Huong Pham, a French national of Vietnamese decent, was arrested by Vietnamese police at the end of July for being in possession of some 50 Valium and other pain-reducing pills. His family says he suffers from severe back pain, and that they have had no news of him. He was on a 3-week vacation in Vietnam. The French Foreign Ministry told reporters Tuesday that it was looking into the matter. [Source: United Press International, August 2, 2005]

Always wise to check and, even if they're legal in the country you wish to visit, carry the paperwork to prove you have clinical need.

You shoulda told us what you need. If its not rare, likely someones been thru it and coulda answered quick and easy. If it something that makes you embarrassed, you coulda just made a dummy account and asked as an anonymous entity.

  I can tell you, I was concerned about migraine meds and was pleased to find out they're easily available, but thats a shot in the dark. Just tell the man what you need 'em for and no script required for basics. In fact, I feel quite lucky as my sis, with the same problems, suffers horribly for the lack of proper medicines back in the states as they give her about a fourth of what she needs and charge for every script on top of mad costs for the little she gets. I'm very thankful Vietnam still allows a fair amount of self-medication as some of us have the same problems for decades and hardly need to give a doctor money every time he signs a slip.
   However, if you do need something really hardcore addictive cuz you're dieing or somethin', I'm pretty sure a hospital will give it up, but you will have to go thru the doctor thing. ex. codeine over the counter? Yes, but only mixed. Heroine? No. Tell us what you need and probly' one of us is on it and can tell you.
   Good luck.

In every nation the Ministry of Health (or equivalent body) has a list of approved drugs. It should be available on their website.  www.moh.gov.vn/

Drugs that are approved in one country may not necessarily be approved, or even legal, in any other country. Travelers should always be aware of which drugs they may or may not carry into a country well before they arrive. You can find yourself spending hours in detention trying to clear up a problem and proving medical necessity. Proper documentation for all medications you are carrying is an absolute must.

Cheers,
James       Expat-blog Experts Team

I looked further at this issue, finding an interesting site.
http://www.intltravelnews.com/2008/05/c … s-overseas

Various suggestions are put forward, but the best seems to be:

Check your drugs are legal in the country you wish to visit/transit (Something legal in Vietnam might very well get you 10 years in the UAE).
Keep all drugs in their containers, including supplied labels.
Keep copies of prescriptions and a letter from your doctor.
Pack them in hand luggage, in a clear plastic bag.
When going through airport security, place the plastic bag on the tray so the officers can see you aren't trying to sneak anything past them. (Some may argue that will invite questions).
An email from the country's embassy (confirming your drugs are legal) would be great .... if you can get them to send you one.

[moderated: offensive + off topic]

No, we're a mutual help forum, out to help each other with expat related problems.
People helped me a lot when I first moved, and I'd like to help others in return.

Hope that answers your question.

mas fred :

No, we're a mutual help forum, out to help each other with expat related problems.
People helped me a lot when I first moved, and I'd like to help others in return.

Hope that answers your question.

Yeah.
I guess I'm just reminiscing the old days.
The days when one had to talk to someone In Country to get information.
And even then,it would take time and also meeting other folks to glean more info.

Now it seems like a 2 minute search online,or joining a forum.

That's all.

PS - if someone reads this, the OP or anyone else, and gets advice that saves them from 10 years in a disgusting prison (or a firing squad), it was worth posting.

Information technology is amazingly helpful, saving all that messing around, looking for answers to what is now a simple question.
I have no clue what I'd have done without it, probably made a lot more mistakes.

I want to thank everyone who has helped me on this topic. I am thinking of coming to Vietnam and I appreciate any and all information I can get before I commit to make the trip. I also learned a bit about how this forum works and that has also been helpful.

dfwvillage :

I want to thank everyone who has helped me on this topic. I am thinking of coming to Vietnam and I appreciate any and all information I can get before I commit to make the trip. I also learned a bit about how this forum works and that has also been helpful.

Hopefully the information gave you (And other readers) a little help.
The specific drug would have been handy to know, but that may involve giving out information you'd sooner keep private.
Sad as it is, the forum doesn't always work as it should, but it's usually pretty good.

I will take this chance (rare as it is) to disagree with James.
I totally agree regarding abusive posts, but I did see the humour in the Internet man post (and I love the bike)

Good luck.
Internet man, up up and away. :D

Hello everyone,

Just to inform you that i moderated some posts and removed some useless/irrelevant comments from this topic.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi dfwvillage, :)

Thank you for your message.

Please do not hesitate to come and ask more questions on the Vietnam forum ;)

Good luck,
Christine
Expat.com team

just google Schappele corby ,to see what happens to people who can't explain them selves in a foreign country, hers were illicit, it will be far easier to take enough for your trip your Dr should be able to give you enough scripts to cover you, if costs are prohibitive, look for generics, most drugs come off licence after 5 years so the price drops. Mine were $26;99 per repeat now $6;00 Google the name of your drug, that will give you ingredients, then Google availability of both in Vn, there is no way I want to find myself in either of those LINKs

Can the following medications (generic names used) be obtained in Vietnam, and which of the following medications require a prescription??:

Hydrocodone
Lorazepam
Trazodone
Methocarbamol
Paroxetine
Omeprazole
Atorvastatin
Amlodipine
Lisinopril
Sildenafil

Thank you!!

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