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This post is not intended to obtain prescription medication for recreational use. This is for those truly depend on meds. First things first…
Traveling to Bali with Medication
I did and so have others. For your own peace of mind, ensure that all the bottles are labeled under your name. I’ve had friends bring meds for others in other bottles such as vitamins or tylenol.
Managing Your Prescription Meds Long-Term
Some may find themselves in Bali with a need to refill medication. Some reasons may be: you lost your meds, you ran out or you need a long-term plan while living here. International monthly shipping can get costly and sometimes things just get lost in the mail! Bali is known for that.
You don’t think about the possibility of losing your medication on the way here. That’s what happened to one friend of mine. She lost her second bag somewhere in transit.
For me, when I bought my one-way ticket, I didn’t think about any implications beyond the few months I would be here until I was close to the end of it. It became critical to have a long-term plan if it was possible.
Ways to Manage Your Prescription Refills
Stocking Up. If you have some time before you leave, consider this little trick. Some may not realize this, but one can stash up to 7 pills a month due to the overlap in filling your prescription. Your insurance/pharmacy will allow you to refill your medication seven days before you run out. One friend did that long enough that he had a couple of months of stock in hand if he ever had an issue.
Another suggestion is to request a 3-month prescription from your GP with approval from your insurance. Those are usually given once per year.
Friends Visiting. Thankfully Bali is a very popular hot spot that many like to visit. Every month it seemed I knew someone coming. This is usually an opportunity to have them bring a refill if you are comfortable with it.
This approach is not limited to meds. I’ve had a list of things brought over by my girlfriends. One time, I had a guy friend bring me a new pair of sticky bra. #smh
Mailing It Over. This can be a lifesaver, but it can also be stressful. I’ve heard others sometimes never receive the mail they were expecting. The best advice is to mail it to a popular or long-standing establishment such as the local co-working spot or the nearby yoga studio. It wouldn’t be as difficult for the postman to find it. Be sure to cross check with the business before you coordinate this mailing. Also, there is no need to draw attention to it by leaving it in bottle form. Packing this in an envelope may give you better chances and better shipping costs.
Visiting the Local Hospital. So this would be the most traditional route. However, Bali hospitals or clinics will not have all the meds that other countries prescribe. I suggest when you call, whether before you get here or after, to set an appointment, also ask if they have the medication on site. The effort in making the trip and paying for the visit will be meaningless if they don’t offer what you need. Here is a list of hospital and clinic options. If you have a copy of your prescription from home, that will help the process for them to issue medication. If you don’t, they will check you and see about refilling your need.
In Case of An Emergency
Emergencies do happen. I’ve heard a number of horror stories of grave scooter accidents. The biggest surprise I hear is how Bali hospitals can and will reject you if you are unable to provide payment upfront – with your broken limb standing there. With that, the best safeguard is to have a credit card on hand at any time to pull out for such cases. If you have health insurance, this can be cross-checked later and reimbursed.
Read here to know what vaccines to get or other backup medication to bring.
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