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travelling in Europe

Hi all, I've had RA now since 2013 and all well controlled on 20mg methotrexate and no adverse blood tests. I'm planning a trip abroad with my partner, travelling around for up to 12 months and have booked in with my consultant to see if I can get them on board with my plans. I've seen some posts a year or so ago about getting access to the meds in Spain etc. Just wondered what the current situation is there and elsewhere? Will I need forward dated prescriptions to get these in Europe or can I get these anywhere over the counter without (seems like Spain may be possible) also how easy is it to get blood tests - should only need 4 done over the year and wasn't sure if I would need a blood form from my doctor. To make it a little more complicated we may be moving from our current area when we get back. Any info on availability with/without prescriptions and blood forms and likely costs of this would be gratefully received. we have no set destination plans so may need to plan around me. Appreciate this is a wide area but I'm struggling to find anything useful elsewhere online

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This site has useful information about getting cross-border prescriptions and so on.

I'm in France and I know our local pharmacy are a bit iffy about cross-border prescriptions, so be prepared to have to try several before one will agree to dispense the drugs. And they certainly won't give you anything stronger than aspirin without a prescription. Some people have said they've managed to get things without prescriptions but I think they were rather lucky, and I wouldn't rely on that.

Also be prepared to pay the full cost upfront and claim back, as again some places just shrug when you show an EHIC. Especially if it's after March 2019....

When I was still resident in UK my GP wouldn't give me more than 3 months prescription at a time anyway so I didn't bother in the end. But it was quite easy to go to a local doctor, explain the situation and get a prescription for drugs and blood tests. It just cost...25€ for doctor, 6€ for nurse to take blood, 50€ + for lab to analyse blood. And my drugs cost around 120€ a month, but I'm on triple therapy plus extras. These days I'm resident so it doesn't cost me any more - but generally you will have to pay at least 30% of the cost at least (not 20% as it says on link).

Just remember that people have RA all over Europe so it's not that bizarre a thing.

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Traveling abroad


Hi we go to Spain every winter for about 4 months, I take Tramodol, which is a class 3 drug plus blood pressure tablets I can get all these over the counter in Spain

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Blimey! No wonder there are drug problems......

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Make sure you take out some sort of travel won't cover you for Mtx, but you do need cover in case of accidents......also get an up to date EHIC....many travel insurances won't pay up if you don't have one.

Make sure if you do need any medical assistance you use the local equivalent of the NHS, DON't use private health care unless your travel insurance company authorises it ahead of time.

You usually have to pay upfront in European countries even when you use the budget for that....locals have insurance to cover this.

On the NHS you can usually only get 3 months supply of medication, as to be treated on the NHS you need to be a UK resident.....they reckon if you are out of the U.K. for more than three months you are non resident...& in that time you would have time to register with a local doctor for your treatment.

YouR doctor will not issue post dated NHS prescriptions for overseas........but do keep a copy of your prescription to show the local doctor when you need a prescription wherever you are.

Make sure you take copies of your medical records too.

Worst case scenario if you need to be flown home...make sure you have an emergency credit card to buy a ticket .

I know this sounds all doom & gloom...but on my travels I encountered so many Brits who had no cover for emergencies & that is not a good place to be, as overseas British Embassies cannot be of financial help.

Have a great time......& keep healthy!


thanks, we have the EHIC and travel insurance lined up and discussed budgeting for flights home at a push, I was going to ask the doctor for a letter detailing my meds etc


Great, you sound as if you've got everything in hand for a wonderful trip.When you are en route - send us an email PC & make us envious of the amazing time you are having!


If I can pull off this trip then I definitely will!


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