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DCKelly09

Prescription drugs/therapy in Beijing

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DCKelly09

Hi!

I am moving to Beijing for several years, but I get several prescription drugs in the states from a psychiatrist which are controlled substances in China. How difficult/expensive is it to find an American doctor in China, and can they prescribe the same drugs (adderral, anti-depressants) that I can get in the U.S.?

Please do not post comments about how I should try exercise, coffee, etc to treat my condition. I have seen these comments on other posts on this subject. I exercise regularly (run a few marathons every year), meditate on a daily basis, and strongly believe in the benefit herbal remedies and acupuncture. Unfortunately, the latter are too expensive for me to afford in the U.S. for the amount I would need to treat my condition. If you have a strong opinion on patient care, I would suggest medical school :-)

But if anyone has helpful advice on their experience with doctors in Beijing, I would greatly appreciate it! My only other option is to continue working with my American doctor via Skype, and having the drugs shipped... a very expensive POA.

- Kelly

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jbradfor

How expensive really is shipping? That way you know the quality, no issue of confusion of the drug, etc.

You probably know this, but just in case you don't: officially, having a mental disorder is is grounds for China to deny you a visa. So, if you want to come, be prepared to lie on your visa application.

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yonglin

Perhaps some information in this or this thread will be relevant to your situation. This thread might be relevant for you too (jbradfor just raised this point).

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Kenny同志

I don’t know about China’s visa policy but if you are given the permit to come over here, perhaps you can go to a Chinese doctor and get the same prescription provided he/she will sign the paper that states you have a mental illness.

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xiaocai

I don't think you can ship Adderall to China, or any psychoactive medicines of this sort, especially without any proof to the Chinese customs that you absolutely need this medication and you are not able to obtain it through legal procedures in China. Antidepressants should be fine though. They are not controlled substances in China.

And you may want to have a read of this post.

Looks like someone beat me to it.

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rezaf
and strongly believe in the benefit herbal remedies and acupuncture.

Just out of curiosity, have you tried and got results from TCM? :rolleyes:

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amandagmu

Is it not possible to get a year's supply of your medication ahead of time in the U.S. and bring it with you? I did that for my inhalers (ventolin). Then you can just carry it with you in your suitcase or carry-on luggage along with the prescription information, etc. Honestly I would not trust shipping something like prescription drugs through any customs in any country. This would also help immensely with any insurance issues. As you may or may not know, your insurance probably does not cover those sorts of things over here. Most American insurances only cover things like hospital and dental emergencies in other countries. (You can re-stock when you fly home...)

If this is not possible then I would consider basing yourself in an expat section of Beijing and contacting doctors ahead of time to make sure they can help you when you get here. I have been to the International SOS in Beijing once before for serious food poisoning, and when my mom visited and twisted her ankle (she needed x-rays). If you are not a member of their network (might consider joining in your case?) they are very expensive (about 1100 RMB for consultation/visit and more for the x-rays or drugs) but they do have a full range of western-trained medical doctors and I found them to be very professional. I don't really know everything they cover/don't cover... you might want to call and ask. They do have a good pharmacy and the doctors are from the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Western Europe, so you shouldn't have problems finding someone decent.

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DCKelly09

Yes, TCM was very helpful, and I can't say enough for yoga and meditation! but enter economic downturn hit and I can only rely on meds covered by insurance. It's unfortunate most insurance companies don't cover TCM, it would be so much more effective and cheaper in the long run...

i'll be in China two years, and hoping to find a good TCM doctor, and who knows? Maybe I can get off the meds! But obviously, these aren't drugs you want to quit cold turkey.

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DCKelly09

Thanks for the replies! I've seen some of those posts (This one I find somewhat concerning for a lot of reasons...)

I can get a year supply of my antidepressants, but adderral is a strictly controlled substance, and can only be prescribed month to month. I have a U.S. doc willing write the script for my family to fill and ship to me (my cousin did this when he studied abroad in Europe), but I'll lose my U.S. based insurance once I go abroad and have to pay for everything out of pocket. I will definitely check out inernational SOS, the price sounds steep, but possible still cheaper way to go.

On a side note - mental disorders like minor depression or ADD are not typically grounds to deny a visa. This refers to manic type disorders that pose a safety risk. I have travelled to china many times, and never had to lie on a visa application : -)

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abcdefg

One additional consideration for the Original Poster: The new doctor you find in Beijing might not agree that you need the same medicines your American doctor previously prescribed. There are different valid approaches to treating medical conditions. You may have a struggle on your hands if you just walk in and say: "Hey, I want a script for this and this and this."

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