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Latinasenora

Feb 11, 2012, 1:47 PM

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Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Hola! I've checked all 177+ medicine-related posts but cannot find one that addresses traveling w/medicine that requires refrigeration. I've checked w/airlines & they can allow that (cooler packed w/those new-fangled ice bag thingys), but what about aduana? Since my plan is to LIVE in Mexico (but insurance is only valid in US), I'd want at least a 6mo supply. Medicine is Humira, for arthritus & psoriasis; it's in an injectible pen form. I'd get a doctor rx for each of the 6 months' worth & bring it all down in their original wrappings (though it would be over-kill on the cooler). Anybody else taking this and/or have medicine that needs refrigeration & can offer advice on bringing it down? It might be better to take it to a border town & getting on a premier bus, instead? Even a trip from Texas to Guad would be 2 days but there would be opportunity to get ice along the way? Help! Thanks! Senora



robt65

Feb 11, 2012, 7:36 PM

Post #2 of 14 (14113 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Hello Latinasenora,

I go to McAllen Texas every four to six months or so to the VA. Some of my medicines must be kept at cool temps. I have a cooler and bring back these meds packed in regular ice as well as a small piece (1 pound) of dried (hot) ice, which I buy at HEB. I arrive in the San Juan del Rio Area on the afternoon of the second day of travel. I have never been denied bringing in my meds (duty free) at any Aduana checkpointm as all my meds have my name and other information on them of me the patient as well as the doctors name, etc. A couple of my meds are even controlled meds. I also bring in a usual six months supply. I stay overnight in Matahuala and get ice at the OXXO store, at the gas station upon my morning departure to Queretaro on the second day of my drive south. I have never had any problems with either the meds going bad or at any checkpoint along the way. I have been doing his for over four years now. You can also buy a small refrigerator (NOB) at any Lowes, Home Depot, Sam's Club, Costco or other such stores, driven by electricity from your cigar lighter in the car or what today (I guess) is called an "outlet". They work well and sit right next to you in the seat. They are small and not heavy to lift into your hotel room along with your overnight bag.

Regards,

robt65




Latinasenora

Feb 12, 2012, 9:16 AM

Post #3 of 14 (14063 views)

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Re: [robt65] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you've had great luck while driving across the border w/your refrigerated meds. And a two-day trip back to Queretaro sounds like it works for you. (ps: I don't know what HEB stands for?)

I won't be driving across the border. I'm curious about
1) airport aduana experiences in Mexico when it comes to refrigerated medicine in a cooler, and
2) availability of ice in an airport should the cooler need it, and
3) long distance flights, say from Phoenix to Oaxaca, and even
4) those inexpensive airlines that operate only in Mexico - do they allow refrigerated meds in a cooler? Is it safe to trust them w/the meds?

Since I have pen-injector type meds, the US airlines won't allow the cooler on-board w/me. They must ride w/the other luggage.

Anybody have any experiences or info they could please share? Gracias, Senora


robt65

Feb 12, 2012, 10:11 AM

Post #4 of 14 (14045 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Hello Again,

First off, I do not believe airlines flying today allow you to travel with dry ice as a packing in your own container. I do believe they allow in special containers. Second make sure from your doctor that such meds which can freeze in unheated cargo holds doesn't compromise your medicines. It is best to check with the individual airlines that you plan to take.

I don't know why you wouldn't drive across from Mc Allen to Guadalajara. It is an easy trip and Matehula is a very easy town along the way to stay (reasonably) overnight at their hotels located right along the Highway. Guadalajara isn't a real long drive after leaving Matehuala.

I do know that Aduana should not give you any problems at all regarding such meds as long as hey are in your possession with you name on the particular meds. The VA doesn't just label a case of such injectables; they label each and every syringe. Just make sure the name on your passport EXACTLY matches you medicine prescription on the meds. Do not even leave out an initial or include an initial or shortened name (such as Maggie for Margaret, etc.) if it is not exactly as it is on your passport. as to your # 3 I have not had any personal experience with such meds at the airports. # 2 Availability of ice at airports . . . . every airport I know of have had used in other countries has a bar. Bars have enough ice to sell you a pound or 5. # relate to # 1 , # 4 there is no guarantees even for your baggage, let alone meds. All airlines I have flown always tell you to take your meds on board with you. My suggestion since you do not want to drive and insist on flying is to # 1 contact TSA main office about your concerns, get anything in writing from them that you can carry with you on your flight if they allow you to take your injectables with you. It used to e that you could leave such things with the head in-flight attendant. again check with your airlines. # 4b is your luggage safe on any plane?

Driving is your best bet, for much fewer problems with your meds.

robt65


Rolly


Feb 12, 2012, 10:51 AM

Post #5 of 14 (14034 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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HEB is a grocery chain headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. They have a few stores in northern México.
H.E.B are the initials of the founder -- Howard E Butt

Rolly Pirate


Kimpatsu Hekigan


Feb 12, 2012, 1:37 PM

Post #6 of 14 (14012 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Humira (adalimumab) needs to be refrigerated but should not be frozen.

Humira is available in Mexico. For example, Farmacia Guadalajara lists the injectable solution (in 40-mg ampules) on their website. No mention of the self-injectable pen (called an autoinyector in Spanish). Here is the link:

Humira from Farmacia Guadalajara

I would query the manufacturer to see if they could recommend pharmacies that carry the pen and could guarantee the chain of custody to ensure that the product was kept properly refrigerated in transit during distribution:

Abbott Laboratories de Mexico S.A. de C.V.
Calzada de Tlalpan 3092, Coyoacan
Mexico 3092, D.F. Mexico

Tel: +52 (55) 5809-7500

Good luck,

-- K.H.


The Disciple lamented, "Master! Why is my life beset with problems?!"
The Master observed, "Only tourists step in dog droppings..."




YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2012, 1:51 PM

Post #7 of 14 (14006 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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In Reply To
Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you've had great luck while driving across the border w/your refrigerated meds. And a two-day trip back to Queretaro sounds like it works for you. (ps: I don't know what HEB stands for?)

I won't be driving across the border. I'm curious about
1) airport aduana experiences in Mexico when it comes to refrigerated medicine in a cooler, and
2) availability of ice in an airport should the cooler need it, and
3) long distance flights, say from Phoenix to Oaxaca, and even
4) those inexpensive airlines that operate only in Mexico - do they allow refrigerated meds in a cooler? Is it safe to trust them w/the meds?

Since I have pen-injector type meds, the US airlines won't allow the cooler on-board w/me. They must ride w/the other luggage.

Anybody have any experiences or info they could please share? Gracias, Senora


My wife has brought mosquito samples and bio-analytical reagents and medications into Mexico on and off for 20 years while flying the commercial airlines. All of these items must be stored and shipped cold, and she has been successful every time.

You can use either ice or dry ice in your carry-on or checked baggage. My wife tends to do carry-on with a small cooler, so there are no issues with baggage handling or security personnel - where she can answer questions and allay any airline or security agent's concerns. If you choose to use dry ice (or a combination of dry ice covered by ice), you need to follow IATA regulations for packaging dry ice: http://safety.dri.edu/...s/shippingnonhaz.pdf for "Guideline for Shipping Items on Dry Ice that are Not Dangerous Goods" - basically have a container that breathes.

If you choose a small rigid cooler with ice, then you could recharge the cooler with ice from a bar or restaurant at the airports - as it needs it.** As noted in an earlier post, have a list of exactly what is in the cooler - in Spanish - along with the meds in their original containers from the pharmacy - and copies of the prescription(s) from your doctor to prove their legitimacy. **We have found that airline stewards/stewardesses are very helpful - providing ice for recharging a small cooler or to fill an ice bag to cool an injured back etc.

Alternately, you can use blue ice freezer packs - but be aware that they can be colder than the freezing points of liquid medications, so, you might need to insulate your medications from direct contact with the blue ice to keep from damaging the meds.

Your plan is both legitimate and legal, and if you follow the rules, you should be able to fly with your meds with no problems.
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 12, 2012, 2:00 PM)


esperanza

Feb 12, 2012, 2:21 PM

Post #8 of 14 (14000 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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4) those inexpensive airlines that operate only in Mexico - do they allow refrigerated meds in a cooler? Is it safe to trust them w/the meds?

I'd like to know which airlines these are, please.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Latinasenora

Feb 12, 2012, 5:46 PM

Post #9 of 14 (13973 views)

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Re: [robt65] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Thanks Robt65. I'm not driving into Mexico, I'm flying. Don't want to drive it solo all the way from the NW. I'll check again w/the airlines but, because this is an INJECTIBLE medication, I think their concern is that they might be used as some kind of weapon - I know I've had problems bringing knitting needles on board for the same reason. We're just living in a different age where a grandma has problems bringing meds & a knitting project along for a trip; they'd prefer that kind of thing be stowed down below in cargo. Obviously, I'd prefer it under my seat, where I could check it for ice and/or not freezing every couple of hours. It's damn expensive without the insurance.


Latinasenora

Feb 12, 2012, 5:49 PM

Post #10 of 14 (13971 views)

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Re: [Kimpatsu Hekigan] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Thanks, I'll call Abbot labs both here & in Guad, but the main issue is insurance. This is a pretty expensive item & without the insurance I couldn't afford it. (It's about $5k, yes, $5 THOUSAND, per month without insurance!) But yes, it's worth a try to see if they can provide this to me in-country. Doubtful, but worth a try. Thanks...


YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2012, 6:19 PM

Post #11 of 14 (13966 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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... I'll check again w/the airlines but, because this is an INJECTIBLE medication, I think their concern is that they might be used as some kind of weapon - I know I've had problems bringing knitting needles on board for the same reason. We're just living in a different age where a grandma has problems bringing meds & a knitting project along for a trip; they'd prefer that kind of thing be stowed down below in cargo. Obviously, I'd prefer it under my seat, where I could check it for ice and/or not freezing every couple of hours. It's damn expensive without the insurance.


I think I finally got your point through my dense cranium: When you wrote that you wanted information on "Medicine Requiring Refrigeration" of an "injectable medication", I understood that your issue was that it is a liquid medication that is injected, needing cold storage & transport. Now I "get-it" that your medicine comes in a special little package that includes an instrument with a needle that the airlines could interpret as a weapon - and hence disallowed by United States TSA from being carried in the passenger cabin.

I would contact TSA, and if possible get them to write you an email authorizing you to carry it on, in addition to checking with the airlines. Both the airlines (through the airport's GSC) and TSA have authority to confiscate hazardous items - so, you need approval from both of them.
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


GringoCArlos

Feb 16, 2012, 11:20 AM

Post #12 of 14 (13818 views)

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Re: [Latinasenora] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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I have sent you a private message on this Latinasenora...

General info - TSA sees this stuff every day and they don't raise a fuss about it. You don't need to get TSA's permission or jump through hoops to do this. In carryons, there may be a question if someone is carrying too much ice with it, but no hassles regarding the meds.


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Feb 16, 2012, 11:32 AM)


Aaron+

Feb 20, 2012, 2:43 PM

Post #13 of 14 (13660 views)

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Re: [GringoCArlos] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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GringoCarlos is quite right. Why guess, read what TSA says itself at http://www.tsa.gov/...ditorial_1374.shtm#4 and scroll down to Medications. One recommendation would be to print out that page, as it is unclear to me how many TSA employees, including supervisors (if they can be found), are aware of what is allowed. Methinks their training centers on saying no.


YucaLandia


Feb 22, 2012, 8:30 AM

Post #14 of 14 (13589 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Medicine Requiring Refrigeration

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Good Link !

It includes the information Latinaseñora was looking for on how to legally bring medical "sharps" onto a plane.

The issue of wanting to bring needles onto the flight seems to be covered by the Diabetes section:

"Notify the Security Officer that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers, and preloaded syringes;
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication;
  • lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions; "
Dandy!
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com
 
 
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