ADD/ADHD HCMC

Hi everyone,

I'm relocating to Saigon in less than a week and have been researching psych medication as I take a few different ones.

The one I take in the US is not available in Vietnam so I have identified the alternatives: Ritalin and the more common of the uncommon medications Concerta ( methylphenidate).

I have searched forums, government and pharmacy websites and Hospitals and even psychiatric clinics...but still come up with the same few posts and they are old or not relevant to Saigon.

I have two psychiatrists appointments my first week here. If there is anyone that can offer up to date information on Vietnamese law, medication availability and where or recommend psychiatrists who have dealt with this disorder before, please post or PM me.

Thanks all,
T

The normal pharmacies will not carry stimulants. If you receive a prescription from the psychiatrist, he can tell you what pharmacy that will fill it. I'm guessing the hospital pharmacy would carry it. Viet Nam is in the dark ages when it comes to learning disabilities. With most teachers and faculty not believing things like ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia even exist.

If it were me, I'd contact the psychiatrists you have appointments with and ask if they are able to write/fill a script for a stimulant. With a psychiatrist being an actual medical doctor, they should be able to answer you.

Please keep us updated.

Thanks for the reply,

I will keep you informed as I progress. I worry about the cost of the medication. I know it can be costly.

Thanks,

T

From a post on another site dated August 2015 the distributor of Concerta in Vietnam is
Saigon Pharmaceutical Company...SAPHARCO
18 - 20 Nguyen Trong To Street
District 4 Ward 12
Hcmc
Tel ....08 39400388
[email protected]
Possibly contact them to obtain addresses of the hospitals,doctors,clinics they supply
Also  try Family Medical Practice Hcmc...Google it for address and contact details.I went there last week after a recomendation  on this site for a different disorder.They have an well stocked pharmacy and I would think if they do not have a doctor who knows your problem they would be able to put your contact with someone who does

Thanks for the reply Gareth,

I know the pharmacy at Family medical practice has the medication because I emailed them. They didn't give me a cost run down though even though I requested one in my email. Maybe they're hiding the fact it's outrageous. Haha.

I have read one post where a guy said he was quoted a price of $16 a pill for Concerta. Ughhhhh!! I can't afford that. I don't remember the name of the hospital.

I will be in Saigon. I don't know if mentioned that in my previous post. I know FMP has an office there.

Thanks for your response and will keep you informed of my progress. I don't arrive in Saigon until Friday May 5 th so I will have to do the leg work then.

Thanks again,

T

Hi all,

Something else related to this post I forgot to ask is about the HCM mental hospital in D 5

Anyone have any experience with this facility? I have read many posts referring to the regular public hospitals and see mixed reviews but nothing about the mental hospital. I visited their website and price list is good.

Just a thought.

Thanks,

T

i'd advise to get those meds from Thailand.

Don't buy meds from any expat orientated pharmacy or clinic. I know of a small mental hospital in D5, not really a hospital more like a clinic, we went there for our wedding certificate mental health check.

Colin
Why do you advise not to but medication from expat orientated pharmacies?
I have understood from previous posts on the forum that some " local" pharmacies sell out of date medication
Thanks
Gareth

Mainly due to the massive markups, 100,200, 300% is not uncommon.

Thanks for the info!....

Two points....I have friends who have a couple of med problems like you. They get everything set up with a family member in the U.S. ( in their case) then they have them ship it here. Cost very little if you ship from the West coast.
Also FV hospital in D7 HCM has a psych department. They might be able to help you. Mental health and psychotropic meds are in the dark dark ages here. I doubt they will come out of the cave while we are still alive. I have a mental health professional friend who says they have had no success here, that they believe you just suck it up and cope. Drives us insane people insaner!!!!!! :=)

Diazo,

I hear you man..... I've been in touch with Family Medical Practice in HCMC and their pharmacy quoted me a price of $480 USD for one month (30) pills of Concerta which is waaaaay out of my budget. Gareth mentioned SAPHARCO as the distributor in HCMC. I know from research that the production of the generic Methylphenidate HCl is prevalent. The Western clinics and hospitals use the fear of fake medication to exponentially raise the price of the brand name. I'm gonna check out the HCM public mental hospital in D5. I checked out their website and their prices were reasonable but I have no idea about the doctors and medication available there. I will keep you posted everyone.

Best,

T

WOW that is amazing. I am going to FMP next week. I will make sure I don't fill the Rx there. Thanks for the heads-up.

Hello all,

Just an update on my medication situation.... I had my psychiatrist appointment with a Dr. At CMI hospital in D 1 with my proper medical records and current prescriptions. The Dr.was very good and staff were professional. The charge for the first consultation with Dr was $65 USD. Family medical practice was $125 USD as a comparison. So, the Dr writes my prescriptions then tells me they are out of Concerta right now. When asked when the medication would be available, all he could say was maybe 3 or4 weeks and he said it was up to the distributor. Ok, he just finished telling me I shouldn't just stop taking it. He also said the pharmacy couldn't give me an estimate of the cost until they received the meds from distributor???
So, I hunted around a few of the other Western  hospital pharmacies a found two pharmacies that had the medication but was then told by both, they only fill the scripts for their Doctors???? What a racket these guys have going....For now, I continue in the holding pattern getting worse by the day.
Regards,

T

If anyone else has any good recommendations for psychiatrists feel free to post/ PM me. I could use one.

Good vibrations to all.

@Tumbleweed0 



Hi T,



I'm wondering with your experience with Ritalin searching.  We are moving there next year and my kid is taking it.



How and where is best to get them? Any psychiatrist recommended?  



Thank you,



Nacha
FMP at Diamond Plaza and all their satelite location have somewhat of a ripoff scheme when it comes to meds. They first give you an Rx for their inhouse pharmacy. Once you get the sticker shock of Western ripoff pricing they use the scare technique " if you by at a local pharmacy you take your life into your own hands and we are not respinsible" . I have been buying my meds on the l9cal market for over 12 years and have never had a problem except they do not charge enough.
@Tumbleweed0 



Hi T,



I'm wondering with your experience with Ritalin searching.  We are moving there next year and my kid is taking it.



How and where is best to get them? Any psychiatrist recommended?  



Thank you,



Nacha
- @nachamccabe
Beware of fake drugs, they are common in VN. Use a reputable pharmacy like Long Chau to be safe.



https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/201 … 42168.html

When I returned to Vietnam in 2018, I had half a bottle of Ritalin with me, prescribed for my ADD.

I discovered that having affordable daily domestic care, iced black Vietnamese coffee and twice-daily exercise was what I really needed.

When I returned to the USA last June, I still had all the pills (minus 1) that I'd brought with me in 2018.

YMMV, of course...
Thanks for the link colinoscapee. I had heard runors of that, but never experienced it to my knowledge. However, they conterfit and adulturate everything under the sun. So does not surprise me. My apology to FMP Diamond Plaza as well.
Thanks for the link colinoscapee. I had heard runors of that, but never experienced it to my knowledge. However, they conterfit and adulturate everything under the sun. So does not surprise me. My apology to FMP Diamond Plaza as well.
- @Diazo


Met a guy back in 2008  who was working for the VN govt trying to  ascertain how  bad the fake drug situation was in VN. He said he was gobsmacked at the amount of fake drugs. Im sure things have improved since then. Fake drugs still exist, but not as bad as it was back in 2008.
It seems pharmacies based in Hanoi are quite reliable, with genuine medicines and deliver speedily to HCM. I just had good experience with a few.. 
The operative word is "seems". Rest assured they are not labeled as bogus. Not sure it is the interest of soneone who makes fake drugs to admit it. Would be like a bank robber walking into a bank and telling everyone they are bank robbers. They have adultereated alcohol here also. But never seen it labeled as such. Just kida the way it is here with everything.
There is often a big difference between"counterfeit" drugs and "fake" drugs.

Essentially, a counterfeit drug violates a patent and/or trade name.

That doesn't mean that the generic drug illegally manufactured and used is less effective than the drug produced by the patent holder.

Fake drugs definitely don't have the efficacy of the original, and they are at best, useless, and at worst, poisonous to some degree.

The retail pharmacy industry in Vietnam depends on counterfeit drugs being effective, allowing copies of original medications to be sold at an apparent discount while still being quite profitable for the seller.

If you've lived in Vietnam for any length of time and dealt with common illnesses and injuries, it's more than likely that you were given a counterfeit drug which effectively served it's purpose.

That's one reason you were able to purchase the medication for an affordable price from a local pharmacy shop that you trust.

Of course, anything being sold as methamphetamine by a reputable pharmacy will be under much stricter control because of current laws in Vietnam.

So even if it's a counterfeit methylphenidate medication labeled as original Novartis Ritalin, it will almost certainly serve it's purpose if purchased from an established retailer with a good reputation.
Never knew we had so many chemist and people with such an in depth knowledge of all this stuff in Vietnam. ***. I doubt the average smuck could tell what he is getting, counterfit or fake.
Moderated by Cheryl last month
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Thank you Cheryl.
So, can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist who can prescribe ritalin, and a pharmacy that supplies it at a reasonable price?
So, can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist who can prescribe ritalin, and a pharmacy that supplies it at a reasonable price?
- @caracal15

Offhand, I say try CMI (Centre Medical Internationale) a good clinic, (not exactly cheap) run mainly French style based in Q3. They can probably suggest a Pharmacy for you..
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