Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions that require treatment or access to medication while traveling should make arrangements to verify a safe and adequate supply of medications for the duration of their time abroad. It is also recommended to carry a medical record as well as a list of all drugs they are currently taking, including any not related to disease, and identify any chronic ailments, allergies or hypersensitivities.
Learn more about traveling with medications.
If flying outbound from the United States, travelers should read the Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) rules for traveling with medications. Some countries do not allow, or require advanced permission to enter with, certain medications related to pain relief, anxiety or panic disorder and treatment of ADD or ADHD. It is the responsibility of individual travelers to verify that their medication is legal and available abroad.
Useful resources for determining the legality and availability of prescription medications include:
- The International Narcotics Control Board maintains a list of regulations by country.
- Many foreign embassies will have information or links about entrance requirements on their websites (e.g. Japan.)
- The GeoBlue insurance provides a Medicine Equivalents tool for those enrolled.
Travelers who cannot find information on their prescription or country or need further clarification should contact GeoBlue Global Health and Safety Services.
Travelers should ask the following questions:
- Is my prescription legal in the countries where I will travel?
- Can I bring enough for the duration of my travel abroad?
- Can I refill the prescription abroad?
- What documentation will I need to get the prescription filled abroad?
- Are there any changes in dosage amounts?
Travelers will need to have their GeoBlue enrollment card and certificate number to access this service. Please contact an education abroad coordinator or the international risk manager to expedite your insurance enrollment to utilize this service or to work with GeoBlue on obtaining information.
If traveling with medicine it is recommended to:
- Transport all medications in the original container.
- Have a prescription with the physician's explanation of the condition and generic and brand names of the medication and dosage information.
- Carry all medications and documentation in carry-on luggage.
- Maintain usual dosage and pattern of taking the medication while abroad. Ask your treating medical provider how to make adjustments due to travel and time zone changes.
Do not plan on sending medications abroad in advance. If a legal refill of a prescription is needed abroad, GeoBlue provides coverage for prescriptions from a medical professional. In many cases, this may require a visit to a local medical professional to obtain a prescription in-country. Participants will need to pay for prescription medicine out-of-pocket and file a claim with GeoBlue for reimbursement. If a prescription is lost or needs to be refilled, contact GeoBlue Global Health and Safety Services to discuss options for obtaining medications.
The misuse of prescription medications, including sharing with other individuals, is a violation of the Ohio State Code of Student Conduct and can result in dismissal from a program.
The Office of International Affairs can provide a prescription letter confirming travel dates and purpose to present to a doctor or pharmacist if requested. Please ask for this letter from an education abroad coordinator or the international risk manager well in advance of travel.
Medical testing and supplies
Travelers currently managing a health condition that requires periodic testing (e.g., blood tests, allergy shots) or access to medical supplies or devices (e.g., epi-pen, inhaler, insulin pump, medicine refrigerator, ozone generator) should not assume that supplies will be legal and easily accessible abroad. For information on pre-arranging testing appointments abroad, or transporting and accessing supplies abroad, contact GeoBlue Global Health and Safety Services.
GeoBlue can help determine accessibility abroad, and, depending on location, may be able to arrange access to testing and supplies in-country. If routine appointments are needed and scheduled, please consult with your program leader, education abroad coordinator or in-country host about making allowances in the schedule to coordinate these appointments.