After suffering an injury, seeking medical attention from an ER doctor should be the first thing. The ER doctor will establish the extent of your injuries and offer treatment or even recommend further assessments or treatment procedures.
Whenever possible, it is always best to stick with your primary care physician for the entire duration of your treatment for an easy follow-up on your progress. But things don’t always work out as they should, and you may be forced to travel abroad for prescription refills and further treatment.
If this sounds like your situation, this post highlights the risks you may need to know before venturing out.
Seek Your Lawyer’s Guidance
America has some of the best health care providers and pharmaceuticals globally. However, different doctors can have varying preferences in medication for treating a patient’s condition based on the efficacy of the medication.
If the preferred medication is not available in the US, the doctor may consider sourcing it abroad, which is fine.
However, in the absence of your primary caregiver, seeking prescription refills abroad can present a challenge when pursuing compensation for economic damages. Also, there is no guarantee that the medicine will be authentic or that it could cause further injury, thereby affecting your case.
The best thing is to involve your lawyer before traveling to a foreign country to refill a prescription following an injury. If you don’t have one, Dave Abels, personal injury attorney at Abels & Annes can guide you on how to protect your right to fair compensation.
Risks Involved With Seeking Prescriptions Abroad
If you travel to another country for a prescription refill, there is a chance that you could end up buying counterfeit drugs that can not only be harmful to you but also worsen your condition. Other countries may not have strict regulations like the US, which allows for the trade of counterfeit drugs.
According to the WHO, more than 10 percent of all the drugs in developing countries are counterfeit, with India being the most common medical tourism destination leading the pack. Therefore, you should only buy your drugs from a registered pharmacy.
Also, you can have a trusted pharmacist or your primary care doctor confirm that the drugs you bought are authentic.
Insurance Coverage Complications
Standards for medical practitioners and pharmacists in foreign countries can vary widely from American standards. For example, a case of medical malpractice or harmful drugs can be much easier to navigate in America.
However, in a foreign country with lower standards, you may experience complications when seeking compensation for damages resulting from harmful drugs. Even though drugs may be cheaper in foreign countries, you may pay a higher price due to damages resulting from harmful medication and have no legal recourse.
Challenge With Getting Refills
Even with a copy of your prescription refill and money in your hands, getting drugs from a local pharmacy may still be challenging. Many countries require pharmacies to refill prescriptions only if the prescription originates from a local physician.
So if you have a foreign prescription, you may not be so lucky.
Your only option would be to see a local primary care physician and have them write a new prescription for you. Therefore, ensure that you carry your treatment history, which can help the doctor understand your medical condition and why you need the medication you seek to refill.
Different countries have varying laws on what drugs can enter their country. Some require that a person keep drugs in their original packaging and carry a prescription note alongside the drugs.
A violation of drug laws while traveling can result in criminal charges for drug trafficking, which can have dire consequences upon conviction.
For example, a country like the UAE prohibits prescription drugs containing diphenhydramine and Benadryl, common ingredients in cough, sinus, allergy medications, and asthma inhalers.
If you plan to travel to the UAE or other countries with similar rules, you must be sure you do not have drugs with the mentioned ingredients or risk criminal prosecution.
Before heading out to a foreign country for a prescription refill, ensure you do your homework on what is allowable. If you must have prescriptions prohibited in a given area when traveling, you may need to change your refill destination.
For example, asthma patients need to have their inhalers all the time. If this is your case, you cannot travel to the UAE. Alternatively, you can have a doctor prescribe an alternative medicine.