July 9, 2016

Tips for Medications when Traveling

When planning for traveling, do not wait until the last minute to make sure you have enough medications and a carrying case for the medications. Often you will need to discuss this with your insurance company as they often refuse to pay for the extra medication amount you may need.

Be prepared to give the itinerary of travel destinations, how long you plan on being gone, and how many days of medication you currently have. This becomes very important when traveling overseas.

Using insulin will require special attention especially when traveling in different climates. If traveling in the hot summer make sure you have a cooler for ice packs and/or Frio packs/wallets that are cool when watered.

If your insurance company will not authorize additional medications, then you will need to find out where to obtain medications while traveling. You will also need to know, if traveling in the United States, the prescribers that are allowed in each state. Even though more states are allowing nurse practitioners (NPs), some states do not allow prescriptions from NPs. A few states also will not allow physicians assistants to prescribe and they are not accepted in other states.

If this is the case, make sure that you have a prescription from a doctor (MD). Prior investigation prevents problems and makes for more relaxed traveling. Some of the following will require action by your doctor.
  1. Take nothing for granted. Even though using a national chain pharmacy, not all prescriptions are transferable. Ask patients to call ahead of travel to make sure their prescriptions and prescribers are covered in the state(s) they are traveling to and will need to receive medications.
  • Know the state law. Since laws are constantly changing, best for the doctor to contact the state where their patient(s) are traveling to find out if prescription can be transferred from one state to another. Know “whose” prescriptions will be accepted. Be proactive to make sure the prescriptions are written by a prescriber whose prescriptions will be accepted.
  • Get active. Help to unify prescribing laws in all states.
  • Back to basics of travel and diabetes. Bring more medications and supplies than needed for the time away. In many cases, insurance will cover if given enough notice. Teach yourself to call early and make arrangements.

Don't be caught procrastinating. This could ruin your travel! One word of advice, never put medications in your luggage, but carry them in a case that will be carried on the plane, a train, or even a bus.

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