Obtaining emergency medications can be difficult for many reasons and one of those is as simple as different medicines used for the same treatment in different countries, or medications having different names in other countries.
So, beyond the measures you do to protect yourself from a travel disaster, what happens if your prescription medicines (or your vitamins) are stolen or fall overboard, for example?
Travel insurance plans always have a travel assistance services and those folks can help you:
- Contact your doctor back home and have a new prescription sent to you.
- Work with a pharmacist or local doctor to convert that prescription into something the traveler can purchase to replace their other medicines.
- Contact a local doctor to have you examined and get a new prescription.
Does travel insurance pay for my emergency prescriptions?
It depends on the individual plan, of course, but in general:
- If you have adequate travel medical coverage with your travel insurance plan, then the cost of those prescription medicines may be covered by your travel insurance plan.
- If you did pack your prescriptions in your checked luggage and that luggage is stolen, the cost of replacing your prescriptions would be included in your baggage coverage.
How can travelers avoid a prescription medicine emergency?
For those who need to use prescription drugs on a regular basis, it’s important to make sure you have enough for the trip you are taking. This is especially important if your trip gets extended. Remember the travel disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcano?
We’ve always recommended that travelers carry their prescription medicines (in their original containers) in their carry-on (rather than in their checked luggage) because you’ll have it when you need it – even if your bag gets misrouted and ends up in another country or stolen.
Another important step is to make a copy of your prescriptions and carry those copies with you. Just like making a copy of your passport identification page, this can help you get replacements because your doctor’s phone number, the correct dosage, etc. is right there on the prescription.