Travelling with plant-based medicine in Australia

Plant-based medicine is legal Australia-wide. Travelling within Australia with plant-based medicine is possible for patients with the appropriate authorisation. 

If you possess a valid prescription from a medical practitioner and a TGA approval letter, you are generally permitted to carry and use plant-based medicine across states and territories within Australia. 

It’s essential to ensure that your authorisation documents are up to date and accurately reflect your medical status.

What documents should you carry when travelling with plant-based medicine?

Whether you are prescribed an oil, tablet, flower (bud) or other product, you may take them with you on your journey. To comply with regulations, remember:

  • Documentation: Carry a copy of your valid prescription and TGA approval letter. This proves your legal right to possess and use plant-based medicine. It’s also good practice to carry a valid ID proof along with you that matches your prescription. If you’re bringing a TGA-approved vape, it’s also worth asking the doctor to list the vape in the letter.

  • Product Packaging: Keep your plant-based medicine in its original packaging, clearly labeled with your name, prescription details, and dosage instructions.

  • Quantities: Adhere to the permitted quantity as your medical professional prescribes. Excessive amounts might raise suspicion.

  • Security Checkpoint: At airports specifically, inform security personnel about your plant-based medicine during the security screening. Cooperation and honesty are key to a smooth experience.

Can a patient fly with plant-based medicine in Australia?

Yes. Patients may carry their legally prescribed plant-based medicine on flights within Australia. It’s important to note that if you have purchased plant-based medicine via an online shop or overseas, it is probably not legal. So, make sure that you’re only travelling with a product that you’ve obtained legally with a prescription via a pharmacy.

Should you put in your carry-on or check-in luggage?

Specific legal guidelines aren’t available regarding this question. It can depend on your individual requirements. When your medicine is in your checked luggage, you won’t be able to use it until you reach your destination. There’s also a small chance your luggage could get lost.

Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility of a random security check or your bag getting attention from a sniffer dog. If your medication is inside and you’re not there, your medicine could be taken away. It’s important to note that we’re not saying this is right or fair, but there’s a chance it could happen.

For certain patients, taking medicine might be necessary at the airport or during the flight. In such situations, you might not have many options. Although there’s a chance you could be stopped and asked for your prescription and ID.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind, if your doctor has prescribed it, you have the right to take your plant-based medication along. Nevertheless, there’s no such thing as being overly ready when you’re travelling with medical cannabis. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel if you face inquiries, and the more at ease you can be as you go through airport security or border checks.

Disclaimer: Heathershaw’s Compounding Pharmacy does not promote the use of plant-based medicines for all patients. Our pharmacists will refer you to an affiliated doctor or clinic who may further assess your clinical requirements. For medical advice, speak to your general practitioner. Plant-based medicines in Australia are accessed via the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme and are regulated by the TGA.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

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