It Can Be Tricky, So Know What Medications to Bring During Business Trips

Bringing medication during business trips, especially overseas, is a highly personal matter that cannot be ignored or taken for granted. Because what may be a comfortable sleep-inducing pill to a traveler can appear as a forbidden narcotic to the immigration agent in your designated destination.

Executives and assignees cannot simply fly to another country, confident that their health insurance or medications will be enough should they face an emergency. Neither can they assume that the nearest hospital or medical center will have the proper equipment to address a sudden medical condition, like an outbreak of an allergy or an injury caused by a fall — not even if the region or country they are in belongs to the most advanced global economies. 

One thing to remember is that the diagnosis and the prescribed medication or treatment of an individual are highly personal. While the same emergency procedures can be applied to almost all cases, the success of the patient’s healing and recovery can depend on an acute understanding of their medical history. 

For example, an assignee who cut themselves accidentally with a knife while on a camping trip could simply clean the wound and stop the blood flow with a bandage, an initially effective standard procedure until it’s not; the assignee gets a possible infection that can be caused by that particular cut, or the patient turned out to be diabetic, and needs a certain type of antibiotics to heal. 

One brand of medicine that has proven effective for an assignee may not be compatible with the physiological system of their colleague. 

To save themselves and their attending physicians wasted time and possible misdiagnosis in the event of an emergency, assignees should take care of their medicines and pharmaceutical drugs during a business trip. 

Here are some pointers:

Check which medicines to bring over to another country

The New York Times says that some governments are more strict when it comes to medication that many Americans take as a matter of course. 

Research should be conducted four to six weeks once the trip has been confirmed, and booking of the actual flight and accommodations should be done only once all the issues concerning medication have been addressed. To determine which medication can be brought during the trip, the business traveler can enlist the help of their employer’s partners: pharmaceutical firms, health providers, embassies, insurance providers, and housing organizations like California Corporate Housing

If some medicines or drugs are banned, these partners might also be able to assist in recommending substitutes that are allowed in said countries. But again, every step of the way, the business traveler should consult their own physician.

Pack two types of medicines

It’s important to pack two types of medicines: the ones for common illnesses, and those that have been prescribed by the physician for a specific medical condition. As CEO World points out, there are universally accepted and safe brands for the common cold, headaches, and nausea. 

It is advised that business travelers carry their own stock from your own country because they have proven effective for you; putting them in a bag that you take with you at all times is also more convenient than rushing out to the nearest drug store in a foreign land. 

That same valuable access to the medicines that they need also applies to drugs that a physician prescribed. To be safe, bring double the amount usually needed during a trip. 

For example, if three pills a day is needed to keep a person’s blood sugar low, and one is taking a seven-day trip, better bring 42 pills instead of just 21. Having a surplus instead of suffering scarcity keeps one safe. A word of caution. Some pharmacies in the US don’t allow more than a month’s worth of supply, even if the general physician prescribed it.

Support medication use with detailed documentation

According to the CDC Features, this preparation will lessen confusion and misunderstanding with the concerned government authorities, at the very least; at the very best, it can speed up the emergency process in case a foreign hospital or doctor becomes involved. 

First, refrain from transferring the medication to label-less containers, but instead retain them in the old ones; label them with these important names — both the brand’s generic and brand names, the doctor’s name, and the assignee’s name as it is written on the passport. Always bring a prescription of the medication, signed by the physician. It would also be helpful if it has been translated into the language of one’s destination.

Preparing medications well in advance of a business trip can be tedious and time-consuming. But it just might spell the difference between life and death or, in some cases, unwarranted jail time in another country.