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Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Exeter Devon
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854 posts
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Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

We shall be travelling to Sydney in November and I shall be bringing various precription tablets. Do you need to declare all drugs and tablets? Paracetomil, Aspirins etc?

Do I need a copy of the prescription?

Many thanks

Bootle45

South Pole
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1. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

yes, it is best to declare prescription drugs. also good to have a letter from your doctor detailing their use in your case. as for over the counter stuff seeing u r already delaring medication they can also be included.

there was a time customs were 'hot' on aspirin etc but that was before the 2000 olympics when they were putting on a bit of a show. now sense has returned.

Sydney
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2. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

I guess our customs people have had a bit of a bad rap ever since the 1960s, when they confiscated all of Judy Garland's prescription drugs and left her to go onstage in Melbourne at what might charitably be called "less than her best"; however, aspirins and paracetemol are available across the counter in chemists and supermarkets, so as long as these are correctlylabelled, you shouldn't find that you will arouse suspicion. However, if the packets are open, you may find they will check for substitutions. And if you bring unusual quantities of these, you may be asked to explain why.

Certainly you should declare these when you arrive.... if all you have is a pack of aspirin, you won't have made a fool of yourself and you'll receive an indulgent smile from the customs officer. If you're trying to bring in a gross of them and you get a disapproving look (and these get confiscated), the worst that can happen is that you'll have to stop in at Woolworths on your way to the hotel and buy some more.

However, if your drugs are of a somewhat unusual nature -- I'm thinking now of poor Sylvester Stallone, who brought with him "prescription" drugs to keep him looking like a sprightly twenty-year-old and found to his chagrin that they were on our "prohibited" list -- you'd be very wise to check with the officials before you even leave home.... you might be throwing away a lot of money!

Edited: 06 October 2010, 22:08
Exeter Devon
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854 posts
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3. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Many thanks to you both for extremely speedy replies.

Very helpful.

Sadly the tablets are due to age related complaints, nothing to do with retaining looks etc.!

Bootle45

Sydney
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4. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Oh, well, in that case if you run out, just call in at my place... I'm bound to have a stock of them!

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

and if you run out, AlanJ, I've always got a goodly supply of age-related medication on hand too (blood pressure medication, arthritis medication, many, many bottles of 1500mg glucosamine, ultra high strength odourless fish oil capsules, etc etc, panadol osteo, etc - sometimes I think I must rattle lol)

Northallerton...
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6. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

We're shortly to visit Australia for the third time and on each occasion we've had to bring a fairly large quantity of prescription meds for my wife's health needs. The below website of the Aus Dept of Health is quite helpful but we always send them an e-mail in advance as well (to the TMU address listed on the website) and they are again always helpful. I've shown their latest response after the website address below. Just follow that advice and you should be fine.

Even though we declared the meds on our customs cards (that you are given on the plane) the Aus customs have normally only asked if they are prescribed and only once have they asked to see the relevant doctor's letter (which I advise taking as well as printed prescriptions) - and that was when we were leaving Aus to go on to NZ.

Also bear in mind any transit locations - Dubai can apparently be a bit awkward but normally okay if just doing an airport transit. We did a stopover in Singapore and you have to apply for a permit in advance (took a couple of weeks) but again they were very helpful. The relevant website for them is:

http://www.hsa.gov.sg/publish/etc/medialib/hsa_library/health_products_regulation/bringing_personal_medication/files_1.Par.15935.File.tmp/Traveller's%20Medications%20_Oct09_.pdf

Gary.

Aus Website / advice etc:

health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/C…

"Please be advised of the following information for travellers to Australia from overseas:

1) Under the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 and Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, persons are allowed to carry medicines to and from Australia without a permit if:

* They are a passenger on board a ship or aircraft and;

* The medicines are required for their personal use to treat a medical condition and;

* The medicines were prescribed by a medical practitioner for the purposes of that treatment and;

* The medicines were supplied to him/her in accordance with the prescription of the medical practitioner.

2) You must carry the prescription and/or a letter from the prescribing doctor confirming that the medicines are required for the treatment of a medical condition and that possession of this medicine is in accordance with Australian laws.

3) On your travels, you must declare the medicine and present the prescription/doctor's letter to Customs officials.

4) The medicine should be retained in their original packaging with labels intact.

5) You can carry up to a three months supply of the medicine as per the daily dosage recommended by the doctor.

6) It is recommended that you contact the embassy/consulate of all of the countries you will be passing through in order to confirm any special requirements these countries may have in relation to the medicines that will be carried.

This traveller's exemption does not apply to the import by any individuals (including sporting competitors) of injectable medicines with components of human or animal origin (except insulin) and some other substances such as androgenic or anabolic steroids (including DHEA and testosterone). Individuals, other than competitors or their associated support staff may, however, import limited quantities of growth hormones, gonadotrophins, erythropoietin (EPO) and darbepoetin alfa (a permit is required).

The medicines should be declared on the Incoming Passenger Card and the passenger should also make themselves aware to Customs on arrival.

There is no longer a "declare" or "not to declare" line as everyone lines up together in one line."

Exeter Devon
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7. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Many thanks AlanJ for your kind offer.

I have put you down as an emergency contact!

Bootle45

Birmingham, United...
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8. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Hi,

Hope you don't mind me adding a few questions of my own. I just spotted this thread and until now had no idea there'd be any issue taking medicines into Australia.

I'm heading over to Oz from the UK at the end of next week, and I'll be spending 4.5 months travelling round Australia and New Zealand. I need to take my contraceptive pill and also antihistamines which I use for prickly heat.

I arranged to get 5 months supply of my pill from my doctor so I have enough for the whole trip, but based on the info in this thread I'm worried I won't be allowed to take them all in. Is that correct? Should I take them all and hope I get away with it, and what will happen if I don't? If I get them taken off me, are contraceptive pills free in Oz like in the UK? Also, I don't have a prescription for them as I handed this in when I got them from the pharmacy - will I need to get a copy of this somehow?

The antihistamines are over the counter. I was only going to take a few weeks worth as I don't always need them and figured I could buy more if I need to. Will I need a prescription for these to be able to take them in? I haven't had them prescribed since I was 17 as it's cheaper to buy them without prescription!

Sorry for all the questions but I'm now quite concerned about getting my medicines taken off me by customs. Any advice is much appreciated!

Northallerton...
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54 posts
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9. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Don't think you should have too much problem. They state normally 3-months supply so the best thing would be to contact the Aus authorities (see my earlier post for the e-mail address) and just seek their advice. We have always found them to be very helpful and not obstructive.

Northallerton...
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54 posts
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10. Re: Bringing Prescrition Drugs to Oz?

Imm50 - forgot to say on my reply above that when we went to NZ we didn't have any problems, if anything they were more relaxed than the Aus customs people. See website below:

http://www.customs.govt.nz/travellers/FAQs/Can+I+bring+prescription+medicine+when+I+come+on+holiday.htm

So you shouldn't have any problems there either. Enjoy your holiday - two great countries / people.

Edited: 07 October 2010, 20:11