View Full Version : Prescribed medicines and the UAE

13th Jun 2008, 16:15
Since my last trip to the UAE, I have been prescribed certain medicines, viz: Zopiclone and Lansoprazole. While certain hypnotics and gastric medicines are listed as allowed by the UAE MoH and their UK website, these tradenames do not appear.
Does this mean they are taboo or will I be OK with a copy of the prescription or doctor's letter?

14th Jun 2008, 00:26
Unless a closer look at your prescribed medicines reveals that each displays a permitted generic name for each one, it's well worth a trip back to your favourite quack. I'd suggest that, in that case, you explain the situation to him and get him to write a clear "To whom it may concern" explaining why, as a permanent UK resident & visitor to the UAE(I assume), you need to be prescribed drugs which are not locally approved. Keep a copy of the letter with you and make sure that there is at least one other copy with any medication which is not in your immediate hand luggage. Make sure that it lists all medication that you take, sometimes having aspirin or Iburpofen for headaches can cause difficulties as well.

Even if your medication, does on inspection, display "good" names, it would be worth while having a letter like the above to smooth any ruffled feathers in immigration.

I'd also suggest that there are full contact details for your doctor, their practice and their qualifications in your letter as well.

I think that should cover all bases and give you a relatively smooth transit, but from personal experience of travelling with medications, it is always worth while stopping in the red channel at customs to explain what the situation is and drop off a copy of the letter. If nothing else and you hit troble later on, it established a paper trail which shows that you have been 100% above board.

Best of luck with your trip.


14th Jun 2008, 07:30
Cheers, Donkey

15th Jun 2008, 05:58
Last year I transited only through Dubai flying with Emirates from UK to NZ. Prior to the flight I obtained a full copy of my Precsription from my UK Doctor, I also contacted Emirates for their advice. This basically was, the possession of some forms of medication for your own personal use in UAE, was not the problem. The problem was if you supplied the medication to another person.
Fairly standard stull I know, but I would suggest you contact Emirates if you are flying with them, or better still try the UAE Consulate for advice & make sure you carry copies of any correspondence with you.

Mind you when we got to Dubai, after over an hour in the hold, we only just made the connecting flight, that's life. I also was not asked any questions whatsoever or had any problems at all when going through security.

16th Jun 2008, 12:13
Zopiclone is the generic name, Zimovane or Zimovane LS is the UK brand name.
Lansoprazole is the generic name, Zoton is the UK brand name
If you want the branded version to be dispensed by the pharmacy then you will need to get the Dr. to write the branded name on the prescription as the NHS will only reimburse the pharmacy for the cheaper generic version if the Dr. prescribes the generic name.

However most Dr.s are reluctant to prescribe the branded names because they are set targets for prescribing generically and also the higher cost of the branded drugs comes affects their drug budgets!!

16th Jun 2008, 21:10
and whatever they don't spend on drugs gets split between the partners...

17th Jun 2008, 07:43
...you got it!!!