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filling prescriptions overseas


nye307

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After an extremely rude experience with Aetna I'm at a loss. Do any Americans have suggestions on how to get prescriptions filled while in China through their health insurance? Possibly health insurers specifically for this type of situation? I take Lamictal, Mirtazapine and Ambien. Everyone keeps talking about a three month supply, even if it was feasible to fly back and forth my visa is a six month single entry.

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If you're only planning to stay for 6 months, you should really, really try in every possible way to bring your prescription drugs with you. I'm almost certain a pharmacist would fill your prescriptions for six months -- whether your insurance company will accept that is a different issue.

Having the prescriptions filled in China would be such a hassle even without considering the insurance issues (you may or may not need a prescription, but they certainly will not accept your foreign prescription). I would personally be worried about counterfeit drugs.

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Six months is actually the minimum stay. Hopefully it will be more like two years if the CSC scholarship works out. Even for that Aetna only covers a three month supply though. And yeah, I'm a little bit worried about counterfeit drugs as well.

I was under the impression that Medco doesn't ship overseas, that was the type of situation I was optimally looking for. Re-shipping is my fail safe, but I was hoping to avoid that.

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No, I don't think Medco ships overseas -- I didn't mean to imply that.

Honestly, I'm not sure I would expect a company to ship overseas. Most USA-based medical plans are for in the US. In fact, I assume you've checked how much your medical insurance will cover you as well? For most plans it's pretty minimal.

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Not sure about the health insurance matter but these medications you mentioned are very common and I think it should not be a problem to get them fill safely in any of the big pharmacy chains. Of course the packaging can be different than what you can get in the US but it does not necessarily mean they are fake. The only problem is Ambien (Zolpidem). It is not easy to get this type of medicines in community pharmacies. Normally you can only get small quantities filled every time at a hospital. But how often and how much you have to take it? I thought it is not so expensive if you get a few month supply at once and bring it over to China even without any insurance cover if you only take one a day when you need (the normal recommended dose). The price I can get here is about 12 US dollars (75 RMB ) for 20 tablets for Stilnox (思诺思 in Chinese) brand (the original brand marketed by Sanofi-Avantis in China), the generic brands will be even cheaper...

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