On the eve of the summer holidays, with many French people going abroad for their vacation, the French National Association of Pharmaceutical Students (ANEPF), the International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM), the French Industrial Property Institute (INPI), the French Order of Pharmacists (ONP) and the National Anti-Counterfeit Committee (CNAC) are launching a nationwide campaign to educate the general public on what to do with medicines before and while travelling and during their stay.

In particular, buying medicines can be risky in some countries, as fake medicines are often to be found.

It is therefore preferable to cross the borders with your own medicines, making sure you take the original prescription with you. But certain rules must be complied with and precautions should be taken. The first step is to make sure you have the right information.

  • Are my medicines permitted in my country of destination, and if so, what conditions apply?
    For example, the transport of narcotic medicines, or medicines governed by narcotics regulations and taken as part of a medical treatment, must comply with certain rules. Formalities differ according to the country of destination (countries inside or outside the Schengen area). As each country applies its own rules, it is advisable to find out beforehand.
  • Where and how should I store my medicines during the flight?
  • What do I do if I have to buy medicines when I’m there?
    Increasingly, you see counterfeit medicines for sale in the streets or on the markets in a great many countries. These medicines are often excellent imitations, but they have no guaranteed safety. If you have to buy a medicine, it is always preferable to consult a healthcare professional.

To help you find the answers, over 1 million Travelling with Medicines brochures will be available in almost every pharmacy in France, with the support of pharmacists, who play a central and major role in public health. These brochures give tips for each stage of your journey: before you leave, during boarding formalities and the flight, during your stay, and if you have to buy medicines abroad.

The booklet by IRACM What in the world is a fake medicine? also provides information on the problem of counterfeit medicines and the dangers they incur, particularly when buying over-the-counter medicines on internet.

Whether you are globetrotters, tourists or just travelling on business, you can set off with your mind at ease by reading these brochures full of useful tips and things to watch out for so you can travel with medicines free of worry. These booklets can be downloaded from the IRACM (www.iracm.com) and Fake Medicines (www.le-faux-medicament-kesako.com) websites.

Safe travels!