Many travellers like to think that an accident or illness could happen abroad and because of this there are many of us depart on our trip without any appropriate first aid including medications. Did you know that counterfeit/ substandard medicines are a major worldwide problem?
It is estimated that more than 30% of medication on sale in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America is counterfeit. These include common medications that are required by travellers such as painkillers (paracetamol) antibiotics and antimalarials. Some of these drugs particularly antimalarials and painkillers can contain too much or too little of the drug which can cause serious harm.
It is very easy to be tempted to buy medication abroad as it is often cheaper; however we are all too often unaware of the risks.
Antimalarials should always be purchased before travel and all of us should be travelling with a suitable medical kit including painkillers, first aid items, diarrhoea treatment and in some cases antibiotics and other medicines.
Online is a great place of ordering antiamalarials and other medicines for travel. It is convenient and often cheaper than from the high street pharmacies; however we should only use reputable online pharmacies like Nomad, that clearly state they are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). If it is a necessity to purchase medications abroad, we should not purchase from open markets or suspicious pharmacies and should suspect any unusually low-priced medication and look out for poor quality printing, misspelled words and packaging of medicines. Other possible signs of counterfeit medicines can be discolouration, splits and spots on the pills themselves.
If purchased and taken, we should be alert to any unexpected drug reactions and seek medical attention immediately. A local British embassy may be able to provide a list of reliable medical facilities and pharmacies in the area.
There is absolutely no reason to go unprepared. Nomad has a range of bespoke medical kits to suit all types of travellers which can be purchased in clinic or via the website. Already made up and ready to be packed away in your backpack or case, there is no need to waste time searching or shopping around for individual items.
Think ahead. Take all medicines with you, avoid purchasing them in country.