Getting MS Drugs in Europe

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Getting MS Drugs in Europe

Postby surfbird » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:22 am


I'm going to be traveling for 4-6 months in Europe and am having a really hard time finding a way to get my Betaseron while I'm traveling. Here is what I've done so far:
  • Called Betaplus Program and Bayer directly. Both suggested I have a family member ship the medication
  • Called UPS, USPS and FedEx - it is illegal for anyone other than a doctor or pharmacy to ship prescription drugs; customs on the other end presents a problem as well. USPS employee said they have repeatedly seen medication returned.
  • Called my pharmacy. They won't ship internationally
  • Contacted Multiple Sclerosis International Federation & National MS Society- they suggested I contact Bayer & BetaPlus
  • Contacted my doctor, who has been researching an answer for over a week and asked that I still continue to do research on my end too :-D

Has anyone else had this dilemma, and if so, how did you solve it? I can carry a 3 month supply with me, but my husband and I are taking 1 backpack each, and that's it - those Betaseron boxes are big! So I think we'll be limited to 3. We are also not sure we'll come back after 5 months, so having a way to get meds while traveling is important.

By the time I need to restock, I'll have been through Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Repub, Belgium, Morocco & I can pick up more anywhere along the way.

Right now, I think these are my options:
  • Find a neurologist while in Europe and get a prescription filled from a EU doctor while I'm there
  • Bring 6 months worth of meds with me to our first stop (1 month in Spain) and then ship ahead within Europe (not sure on the laws of shipping meds between EU countries)
  • Suck it up and carry an extra bag with meds. This may present problems at customs in every country I visit, traveling with so many needles
  • Take a Betaseron Vacation! (ha, I wish!)

Any help would be MUCH appreciated. As you can see, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure this out already :)
User avatar
Family Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Charleston


Re: Getting MS Drugs in Europe

Postby jgkarob » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:49 am

Hi there,
I was diagnosed in Asia and used to come back to the UK every year.
I was/am on Rebif and it was paid for (in cash!) by my husband's employers.
What I used to do, was buy 3 months supply and put it in my suitcase and hope for the best.
It never failed - but Rebif was okay out of the fridge - the risk was freezing, but it didn't happen.
When we left Asia, I had 6 months supply and then the NHS (in the UK)started funding the DMDs (2002) and I slipped into the system.
You won't have cover - so you either must carry enough or have a holiday. Perhaps take enough for half your trip and take a rest?
I did take suitcases and half of a big one was taken up with the packets of Rebif at one time.
Unless you can negotiate a way to get the Betaseron paid for by your insurance company and that your insurance company has a European office, then you may be able to get hold of some - by what I've read here, it should be cheaper!
I don't know any other way around this, except to possibly get hold of an expanding rucksack that turns into a small suitcase and take the drugs in that?
I hope you manage to have your holiday. It's making the most of now as you never know what's around the corner.
best wishes,
User avatar
Family Elder
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: O Saviñao, Lugo, Galicia.

Re: Getting MS Drugs in Europe

Postby surfbird » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:15 am

Hi JG,

Thanks for the response...after all the research I've done the best thing is for me to just take enough for the whole trip. Even though we'll have to take an extra bag, at least our load will get lighter as we go! The best thing is that I actually CAN go :) Definitely taking advantage of everything while I can.

Thanks and best wishes,
User avatar
Family Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Charleston

Return to General Discussion


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

Contact us | Terms of Service