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Enough Meds for a Long Cruise


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New to the forums and I apologize if this has been discussed before.  We are going on a six-month around the world cruise (Oceania) in January 2023 and I was wondering if anyone has experience in getting enough meds for the voyage.  My mail order provider limits the quantity supplied to three months and curious what strategies others have used.

Thanks.

Ron

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Posted (edited)

Speak directly with your medical professionals who write the Rx, also discuss with your pharmacy and the insurance company. 

While on a few extended trips in which DH would need additional meds to get him through the vacation, our pharmacy, CVS,  was able to contact the insurance company and did provide DH with extra meds.

Last year my sister extended her stay with family in England [travel back to the USA was not a good thing due to covid issues/flights, etc.] and while there, found herself short on two meds. I got them filled here and then mailed them to her. However, the package sat in HM Customs for over two weeks and she landed up getting a week's worth of meds through a local UK national health pharmacy. When she finally got the package, she had to pay customs, ugh. 

 

Darcy

Edited by WatchHill
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3 hours ago, RonNYNJCT said:

New to the forums and I apologize if this has been discussed before.  We are going on a six-month around the world cruise (Oceania) in January 2023 and I was wondering if anyone has experience in getting enough meds for the voyage.  My mail order provider limits the quantity supplied to three months and curious what strategies others have used.

Thanks.

Ron

FWIW: CVS makes vacation allowances in conjunction with insurer approvals. We’ve never had a problem with Optum Rx (our Rx insurance) saying okay for extra meds when refills would come due during a long cruise (though we’ve not done an ATW.

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3 hours ago, RonNYNJCT said:

My mail order provider limits the quantity supplied to three months and curious what strategies others have used.

 

My doctor authorized the dispensing of more than the 90 day supply.  And, it took a couple of phone call with the Rx provider to explain the situation and to obtain their approval.  I anticipated problems, but it really wasn't as difficult as I anticipated.  It is one of many issues in planning/preparing for a world cruise that needs to be taken care of "sooner than later".  

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34 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

FWIW: CVS makes vacation allowances in conjunction with insurer approvals. We’ve never had a problem with Optum Rx (our Rx insurance) saying okay for extra meds when refills would come due during a long cruise (though we’ve not done an ATW.

Thanks very much. I also use OptumRx and figured I would call about a year before the January 2023 trip.  

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2 hours ago, WatchHill said:

Speak directly with your medical professionals who write the Rx, also discuss with your pharmacy and the insurance company. 

While on a few extended trips in which DH would need additional meds to get him through the vacation, our pharmacy, CVS,  was able to contact the insurance company and did provide DH with extra meds.

Last year my sister extended her stay with family in England [travel back to the USA was not a good thing due to covid issues/flights, etc.] and while there, found herself short on two meds. I got them filled here and then mailed them to her. However, the package sat in HM Customs for over two weeks and she landed up getting a week's worth of meds through a local UK national health pharmacy. When she finally got the package, she had to pay customs, ugh. 

 

Darcy

Thank you.  

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Most pharmacies will do a vacation override. I take my one prescription in its original container. Depending on which country you go through, you are supposed to have your prescriptions in the original container. In practice, they don't care much about non narcotics. I'm not bringing a bottle for every over the counter pill I take (supplements and vitamins.) Never had a problem.

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1 minute ago, Markanddonna said:

Most pharmacies will do a vacation override. I take my one prescription in its original container. Depending on which country you go through, you are supposed to have your prescriptions in the original container. In practice, they don't care much about non narcotics. I'm not bringing a bottle for every over the counter pill I take (supplements and vitamins.) Never had a problem.

Thanks.  

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

Most pharmacies will do a vacation override. I take my one prescription in its original container. Depending on which country you go through, you are supposed to have your prescriptions in the original container. In practice, they don't care much about non narcotics. I'm not bringing a bottle for every over the counter pill I take (supplements and vitamins.) Never had a problem.

Costco will do this also and fill prescriptions early.

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If you are taking a controlled med, i.e.the ones that can be abused and are often sold on the street, you may have problems.   I can’t imagine a physician or pharmacist given you a 12 month supply of the frequently abused, very addictive medications.

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2 minutes ago, Covepointcruiser said:

If you are taking a controlled med, i.e.the ones that can be abused and are often sold on the street, you may have problems.   I can’t imagine a physician or pharmacist given you a 12 month supply of the frequently abused, very addictive medications.

Where do you see needing a 12 month supply for a 6 month cruise?

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Controlled medications are a topic outside of anyone on CC's expertise. You would need to talk to your doctor and do some research on each port where you might be getting off with your meds. 

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My Dr wrote out an RX for each of my meds, 30 day supply  He told me that it is good to have paper copies, to show pharmacys over seas if you need too

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3 hours ago, winemama said:

My Dr wrote out an RX for each of my meds, 30 day supply  He told me that it is good to have paper copies, to show pharmacys over seas if you need too

We don't recommend going this route. Prescription meds commonly available in the USA may not be available in other countries. We speak from personal experience.  Far better to bring an adequate supply of the correct med with you.

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I'm in the UK so things are slightly different. We also get 2 months supply of tablets as a matter of course but if we're going to be away longer I go into the surgery (rather than ringing), explain the situation and they will give me extra. I usually take a copy of my booking just in case they want proof.  For controlled drugs a doctor's letter should suffice.  We make up weekly trays and always include a copy of the prescription. 

Always take extra meds with us in case of delays etc.,

 

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19 hours ago, winemama said:

My Dr wrote out an RX for each of my meds, 30 day supply  He told me that it is good to have paper copies, to show pharmacys over seas if you need too

Unlikely that a Rx from a US Dr would be accepted by a pharmacy in a foreign country. You would likely be told to find a local doctor and get a prescription from him/her. Better all round to just bring sufficient meds with you.

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I agree with the practice of bringing all our meds plus extra for emergencies. You just never know, even in first world countries. In France, we needed Tylenol and knew they didn't use that word. So we wrote down "acetaminophen" for the pharmacist. She had no clue what it was. We later learned that Paracetamol is acetaminophen.  

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Posted (edited)

Seems to me DW was able to get a seven month supply of her meds.   Not sure how...I suspect she got an RX with large fill instructions.  It was not an issue but I am not certain why it was not.

Edited by iancal
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