How to Stock Up on Essential Medications??
I was wondering if some folks out there could help me out here. My father takes anti-rejection medication for a kidney transplant. I’ve spoken with him about trying to build up a stockpile in the event of an emergency , like full-scale societal break down. He says he is only able to get a 30 day supply from his doctor. Can anyone advise me? He’s in the US. I’m in Canada.
I want to know:
Is it possible to obtain larger quantities of essential, life-saving medications?
Since I am anticipating that someone will repond by mentioning mail ordering medications, I want to know: Can "mail order" medications be trusted? If so, are there particular companies that can be recommended?
What seems like a reasonable "stock pile?" Six months, 12 months 2 years?
Does anyone know if countries (or drug companies) are making provisions or have made provisions in the area of essential medications in the event of societal collapse?
Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
He should learn how to make it for himself. Ask a chemist.
My brother is also on anti-rejection meds for a kidney transplant going on 17 years now without a single rejection episode. We are in Canada. He was able tomsecure a 6 month supply back when he worked on the Cruise ships but it took a letter from his Doctor before the insurance company would subsidize that large of a supply. Back then he was on cyclosporin. He has been on several different anti rejection drugs since and maintains a 3 month supply just so he doesn’t have to visit the Doctor in between checkups.
I tried finding his meds while I was in Mexico last August but came up short. I found someone in Mexico City selling his brand on a craig’s list type site but it seemed sketchy and the price was not cheap.
Nothing is impossible if you have the money. You can likely buy the same meds your father is on now, but insurance is unlikelynto cover it.
As for learning to make it yourself, that’s likely next to impossilbe as many of them are strains of fungi that are isolated or concentrated.
The best advice I’ve heard is to seek out a Doctor who shares the same uneasyness with access to future medical supplies and see if he will write your father a longer prescription.
If your Father were to say , book a trip to Antarctica, would his Doctor give him a longer prescription?
Have you found a mail order site that will deliver to Canada or the USA? I have’t yet.
Another Brother of mine worked for Alberta Health Care in their contigency planning department. He help plan for the next influenza pandemic which is beleived to always be right around the corner. While he never mentioned stockpiling essential medictions he did say the provincial government tries to keep vaccinations current and in enough supply to administer to essential services (fire, police, emt, drs nurses etc).
Many apologies for the typos, the ipad is finicky.
Well, first of all he may have to pay for it himself, as your insurance company would almost certainly reject any claims for medication that appear duplicative. They may not catch it right away, but when the insurance company realizes that he has submitted claims for a total of, say, 450 days’ worth of doses in the past 365 days, the gig will be up.
Lawson’s idea is a good one – an understanding doctor might be able to finesse the system to a certain extent. Alternately, a slight dosage increase would allow you to assemble your own stockpile over time.
Step two is to do some in depth research to determine (a) the actual shelf life of the medications, and (b) whether aged samples of the drug become toxic, or simply begin to lose their potency. Be mindful that the chemical shelf-life of a drug is usually different (sometimes vastly different) than the stamped "expiration date." Other factors such as the consumer’s perception of "freshness," and reducing insurance costs by limiting the amount of time that each batch of product stays on the shelf, are often more important in setting expiration dates. So do your homework.
As for obtaining the drug itself, I would explain to my physician that in light of the recent spate of drug shortages (there have been a lot recently), I would like to keep a reserve supply of the drugs on hand. This is not unreasonable.
If your physician is unresponsive to your concerns, then you can always go to another doctor. Request copies of your medical records to be picked up by you, make a photocopy, and go see another doctor. In Mexico if necessary. Be sure to check the laws relating to importation of medicines.
But if you tell your doctor how serious you are about obtaining a six-month reserve, I cannot imagine that they would actively stand in your way.
He should learn how to make it for himself. Ask a chemist.
This is one of the dumber things I have ever read on this site…. and I am a chemist. Drugs are made under very controlled conditions, using highly quality controlled, pure starting materials, with supporting laboratories that assure the quality/purity of the finished product. Aside from being pretty much impossible to pull off in a home "Meth lab" setting… chances are that even if you had the basic procedure to make a given molecule, you could easily end up with toxic byproducts or contaminants. Just silly talk.
As you probably know Americans can buy 3 months’ supply of medications from Canadian pharmacies. These pharmacies cannot take insurance but they can be cheaper than the retail outlets in the US. I know of one in Winnipeg that has provided very good service and there are many others. If you end up having to have your dad pay out of pocket it is worth doing a price check at a reputable Canadian pharmacy that does mail order to the USA. Very important to know the storage conditions and shelf life of the medications your dad takes. You can possibly get that information from your pharmacist or the toll free number of the manufacturer of the drug among other sources. I am not a pharmacist but I am in healthcare. Some medicines indeed become very toxic if they are exposed to heat, light, moisture or if they are too old. Others (like aspirin) seem to last forever.
Thanks so much for your input. I realized that I am at the point where I need to get serious NOW about the research, making inquiries myself and procuring whatever we can by whatever means necessary. You’ve given me some good informaiton and I appreciate it!
One of us is on a whole bunch of essential generic meds. We got prescriptions for a 3 month supply with refills and then did a search on medtipster.com to find out who had the cheapest generic med deal. ALL of them were available somewhere for about $10 for 100 pills (obviously this does not apply to many other meds which are not generic, and even to some that are generic). So I went and bought them (not using insurance) and we just rotate them along with the regular supply. If we needed brand name meds, I would just bite the bullet and pay for them. I wouldn’t worry too much about cholesterol meds, as one can perhaps lower one’s cholesterol simply by eating a survival diet. But some other med categories are really essential. A tip for psychiatric meds – some of them are $800 per month and up – there are older meds available for peanuts that do the same things. You just have to ask. If someone in your family is on meds that have withdrawal problems, I would do everything possible to get the person off that med if at all possible. If not possible, make sure you have enough to wean them off of whatever it is if TSHTF. Withdrawal from sedatives, pain meds, and even antidepressants can be seriously bad. You can stockpile booze which will last forever, but the same is not true for pain meds, which will eventually become worthless. (However, most meds – like foods – are not useless at time of "expiration date" – I’ve successfully used meds that were 5 or more years old – with caution – obviously do not try this with antibiotics!!) A final tip – if you’re on the sort of meds which doctors are reluctant to give extra prescriptions for – i.e. valium, xanax, etc – be diligent and put a few aside every month so you’ll have enough to wean yourself off the stuff if necessary. Keep them in a cold dry place, and replace them with new ones every year or two.
Thanks for the website and info. I appreciate it. I’m glad you mentioned with drawal issues. I have one parent who could be affected by that if TSHTF.
I wouldn’t worry too much about cholesterol meds, as one can perhaps lower one’s cholesterol simply by eating a survival diet.
Actually, if you read this article:
or anything by Chris Masterjohn, who studies cholesterol in depth, you will understand why you shouldn’t even worry about cholesterol meds at all.