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Old Aug 12th 2017, 7:39 pm   #1
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Default Dual US/UK citizen - how to refill prescriptions from US when *moving* back to UK?

Hi everybody!

I am making plans to return in December to the UK to live, after living for almost 16 years here in the States.

I have one critical prescription - an antidepressant - that I will need to continue taking once I am back living in the UK.

I am a dual citizen of both US and UK, so DO I have a ntl insurance card and an NHS card.

I am curious how people making the move permanently back to the UK from other countries dealt with refilling prescriptions? I am finding a lot of info on how to refill a prescription if you are *travelling* abroad and not a citizen of the country you are travelling to.

But what if you are a UK citizen returning after many years abroad? Could I just show my American prescription bottle to a pharmacy in the UK and get it refilled? Or, because I am now in a UK country, do I have to register with a UK doctor, and have him/her write me out a brand new prescription for the same medication? And if the latter, what if they refuse to re-write the prescription?

Any help here would be MUCH appreciated! Thankyou.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 7:54 pm   #2
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Default Re: Dual US/UK citizen - how to refill prescriptions from US when *moving* back to UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyteacup View Post
Hi everybody!

I am making plans to return in December to the UK to live, after living for almost 16 years here in the States.

I have one critical prescription - an antidepressant - that I will need to continue taking once I am back living in the UK.

I am a dual citizen of both US and UK, so DO I have a ntl insurance card and an NHS card.

I am curious how people making the move permanently back to the UK from other countries dealt with refilling prescriptions? I am finding a lot of info on how to refill a prescription if you are *travelling* abroad and not a citizen of the country you are travelling to.

But what if you are a UK citizen returning after many years abroad? Could I just show my American prescription bottle to a pharmacy in the UK and get it refilled? Or, because I am now in a UK country, do I have to register with a UK doctor, and have him/her write me out a brand new prescription for the same medication? And if the latter, what if they refuse to re-write the prescription?

Any help here would be MUCH appreciated! Thankyou.
Hi. You'll need to register with a GP and get a new prescription. Check how much personal medication you're able to bring into the UK with you from the US, hopefully you'll be able to get enough in the US to see you through for a couple of months until you're sorted.

Some medications available in other countries are not available in the UK, I don't know if this is because they're not approved for use here or if it's because of the cost. One anti-depressant, Pristiq, is available in Australia but is not approved for use within the EU. In that case, the person's GP prescribed another medication that was similar to Pristiq, but not exactly the same.
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Last edited by spouse of scouse; Aug 12th 2017 at 9:43 pm.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 8:16 pm   #3
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Default Re: Dual US/UK citizen - how to refill prescriptions from US when *moving* back to UK

SoS has already given you good advice, but in any case you cannot present or refill a US prescription in the UK. Full stop.

In any case your new doctor will want to reassess your condition and make a fresh decision on what the appropriate treatment is for you, which may, or may not be the same drug. You are unlikely to get a warm welcome if you just go too see your new doctor with a packet of your current medication and say "I need a prescription for more of these!"
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 9:44 pm   #4
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Default Re: Dual US/UK citizen - how to refill prescriptions from US when *moving* back to UK

If you can get a 2 month supply to take with you, that should be plenty to tide you over. Once you have signed up with a medical practice, it can take around 3 weeks to get a new patient appt. However, I was told if I didn't have enough of my meds, they would ensure I got some before my appt - didn't need to though.

Take the bottle/packet of med with you as they will more than likely not have the exact thing but can identify an equivalent, esp if it is a generic. You shouldn't have any problems. One thing to note - things seem to be dispensed for 28 days here rather than 30 as is usual in the US. Once you have taken the script to the pharmacy though, you can get it refilled whenever you need to.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 10:38 pm   #5
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Default Re: Dual US/UK citizen - how to refill prescriptions from US when *moving* back to UK

I brought paper copies of my medical notes with me, as well as prescriptions in their bottles, just as Perth suggested. You are entitled to copies of your medical notes, especially if you are travelling overseas away from the US. I was not given the exact prescription, but a generic version dispensed here as it was cheaper. If you need the actual drug because a generic version is unsuitable for you, you may have to plead your case. I did not have to wait long for a doctor's visit, but that depends on the area you settle in and how busy their practice is. I had three months of drugs with me so there was no problem.
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