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Taking Or Sending PBS Medicines Out Of Australia May Be Illegal
If you’re planning a trip overseas, organising your medicine is one of the most important things you can do. If you take a prescription medicine regularly, it’s important that you take this medicine with you so that you remain in good health while you’re away.
Unless the medicine is for your use, or the use of someone travelling with you, taking or sending medicine overseas that has been subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is illegal. Illegally taking or sending PBS medicine out of the country may result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or two years imprisonment. Customs may detain any medicine they suspect is being illegally exported.
Before taking or sending PBS medicine overseas you should:
- Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting to ensure the medicine is legal there
- Carry or enclose with the medicine a letter from your doctor, detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking or sending, and stating that it’s for your personal use
- Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so it is clearly labelled with your name and dosage.
Medicare Australia will investigate and may seek to prosecute people found to be illegally sending or taking PBS medicine overseas.
For more information call Medicare Australia’s Travelling with PBS medicine enquiry line 1800 500 147, or visit the website at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au.