Manage your Rx While Studying Abroad

Aug 10, 2017
Follow these medication tips during long-term travel.

Jennifer Article

Around 10% of all U.S. graduates will study abroad during college. For those taking a long-term or maintenance medication, their travel plans also include managing their prescriptions.

Whether your studies take you to another country for a short time or a full semester, you’ll want to have enough medication to last through your trip. Express Scripts can help you get a long-term supply of your medication so you can focus on making the most of your experience abroad.

Wherever your semester abroad takes you, follow these tips to safely travel with your medicine:

Get a vacation override. It's best to get all of your refills before you travel, so plan as early as possible. If you’re not eligible for a refill yet, you can ask for “vacation override” exception. This allows Express Scripts members to get an extra refill. If you have your prescriptions written for a 3-month supply, you can get your normal supply plus one extra fill for a 6-month supply of medication.

The vacation override is covered through your benefit the same as your normal refills, including co-pay cost. Just like if your medication was lost or your dose was changed, this override allows you to fill your prescription earlier than its next available date without a penalty.

Keep essential medications with you. When packing to study abroad, make sure to keep your essential medications in your carry-on bag. On planes, passengers are allowed to take all medications on board (including liquids, pills and other supplies), but they must be screened at a security checkpoint.

Keep medication in original containers. Make sure all your prescription medications are in the original bottles with the name of the drug, the name of your doctor and your name on the label. This will make organization and identification easier, especially during security checkpoints.

Use reminders and alerts to stay adherent. Adjusting to different time zones, balancing school work, and exploring a new country can make keeping up with your medication challenging. Traveling and new living situations often lead to decreased adherence. Skipping doses or taking too much medication can have long-term complications.

Do your research. Some countries have different regulations on prescription medicines. For example, Adderall is prohibited in Japan. In Australia and New Zealand, there are pharmacist-only medicines. You don’t need a prescription but you have to talk to a pharmacist before they will give you certain medicines. Always check to see if your medicine is allowed in the country you’re planning to visit. And make sure to complete any necessary paperwork for declaring your prescription medicines.

Remember we’re here to help. At Express Scripts, we have a team dedicated to helping our members wherever they go. The EXPAT Team is ready to answer your questions. If you’re going to be living in another country for an extended period, they can verify your overseas address and make sure you have all the medicine you need and that it won’t expire before you can use it. Call the number on your member ID card and ask for the EXPAT Team.

Plan ahead and discuss your study abroad plans with your doctor who can help you make any necessary changes to your medication schedule.

You have more exciting thing to do while studying abroad than worry about getting your prescriptions filled. As you travel the world, Express Scripts is there to help you manage your medications and improve your health.

comments powered by Disqus