Group: Forum Members
Hi Simon and all,
We have a fairly extensive collection of prescription drugs developed over the years for ocean crossings and for those times we were in remote areas. Over this time, it has become clear that it is helpful to have the: original prescriptions, and a letter from the prescribing Dr. saying that he/she has prescribed these medications for the Ship’s Medicine Chest for use by the Captain in remote areas, that the Dr. has talked with the Captain and crew about the medication’s use, and that, when used, there will be communication with medical consultants where possible (or something like that).
On Alchemy, we keep Rx meds in a separate bag with lots of documentation and manuals (if starting out again, I would store in a locked box). There can also be a piece of paper (a pre-made-up form) documenting Rx med use with date, dosage etc. and places for notes and signature. The more organized and official this looks the better: remember this will not be inspected by physicians. You want it to look official and as much like a ship’s medicine area that might be found on commercial vessels where the officials who will be doing the search are usually working.
A last note: we have almost always been asked whether we have any drugs on board and usually with those exact words, even if the official is not English speaking. We always answer as if the official was inquiring about illegal recreational drugs while also having the clear awareness that the official may (and probably is) asking about the drugs that are ingredients in my more powerful Rx meds as well. To answer by bringing up our quite powerful Rx meds is a route we choose not to go down. So far, we answer that we have no drugs on board and that has been fine. That said, we know of one boat where the officials felt like they were lied to when the Cap’t answered as we do and dogs found his Rx meds, some of which were banned in this country. This may have been problem enough, but it was a bigger deal that the officials felt they were lied to. This was looking like a big mess till with effort and help, it got sorted.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy