Prescription medications are simply a fact of life for many people today. Whether you take a medication to maintain your health or are using a prescription drug for a short period, certain laws govern the use of these medications to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. If you are travelling abroad, the laws in the country to which you are travelling may vary from your home country’s laws, and your familiarity with these laws is essential. What medicine can I bring into Australia, may well be a question you should ask yourself if travelling down under.

Travellers to Australia are advised to bring an appropriate amount of necessary medications for pre-existing health conditions. You may bring a three-month supply of medication intended for personal use or the treatment of your dependent or dependents. Anabolic or androgenic substances will require an accompanying special permit.

medication in your hand
Ensure your medications are considered safe and legal for use within Australia.

Contact the Department of Health, the Australian Customs Service, and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to ensure your medications are considered safe and legal for use within the country. You may also need to contact authorities in your home country to ensure you are legally able to transport your specific medications across the border.

If you become ill or require a prescription while travelling in Australia, you have the option of seeking care privately, which can be expensive. Travel insurance may offset some of these costs. If you are an Australian citizen or are a citizen of a country with which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, you may be able to take advantage of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which provides any medication listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits. Prescriptions must be written by doctors located in Australia in order to be considered valid for the PBS.

Eligible visitors include those from:

• Belgium
• Finland
• ItalyContact
• Malta
• New Zealand
• Norway
• Republic of Ireland
• Sweden
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom

All medications brought into and out of Australia must comply with Australian Customs Service regulations. Carry a prescription on your person along with written authorisations where needed, and be prepared to comply with quarantine requirements. You will also need to keep your documentation on hand upon departure from Australia.