Pharmacies in Thailand — that they can be purchased
As in the rest of the world, the sale of medicines in Thailand is under state control. The FDA, the Food and Drug Administration of Thailand, regulates not only what can be bought in pharmacies without prescription, but also what can be imported into the country for legal reasons.
Pharmaceutical retailers in Thailand are called Pharmacy. Conventionally, they can be divided into pharmacies at hospitals (hospital pharmacy) and regular pharmacies in the settlements. It should be borne in mind that in the first prices are higher, mainly due to the fact that they represent the brand manufacturers of drugs. In ordinary pharmacies, you can find cheaper counterparts.
Pharmacy, not related to medical institutions, is widely represented in all cities of Thailand. For example, pharmacies in Pattaya are available, if not on every street, then through exactly one. All pharmacy points are private.
In general, their design is not subject to any one standard. Even the green or red cross, familiar to all of us, or the universal sign in the form of a snake wrapping around a bowl, does not always take place on the pharmacy facades. One thing is for sure: the word Pharmacy is necessarily present on the sign. Pharmacy chains operate in large cities.
What can be purchased at pharmacies in Thailand
The rules for the sale of medicines in Thailand are about the same as in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, but much simpler than in Europe or the United States. Here you can freely (without a prescription) purchase a large amount of Thai or imported medicines that a person may need in case of a slight indisposition, a cold, a runny nose, cough, local viral development (similar to our ARVI) or an intestinal infection:
- immunostimulating agents;
- local antiseptics;
- antibacterial agents;
However, most of the range of pharmacies in Thailand are not drugs, but various Thai herbs and “drugs” of local traditional medicine, body care products:
- kits consisting of dry plant materials for the preparation of infusions and decoctions;
- ready-made herbal infusions;
- healing juices (in particular, the juice of the Noni plant, which is popular in Thailand);
- jars are widely represented with the fact that we have called biologically active additives;
- various balsams (like the Vietnamese «star»);
- local toothpastes (considered natural);
- Coconut oil;
- bee products.
Tourists should be aware that drug counterfeits are no less common in Thailand than replicas of mobile phones and counterfeit clothing. There are cases when under the guise of a drug can sell a tablet of powdered sugar and soda.
In the worst case, the composition may be unsafe components. Therefore, if you are relaxing in a large settlement, for example in the already mentioned Pattaya, pharmacies are better to choose more solid in appearance, belonging to Thai large networks.
Pharmacy at hospitals deserve the greatest trust. Although the products there are more expensive, but there are no fakes. There are 4 major hospitals in Pattaya, and each has its own pharmacy. If you have insurance in Thailand, you will be provided with everything you need in the hospital.
Should I rely on the help of sellers in the pharmacy
In our subjective opinion, the opinion of pharmacists should not be trusted not only in Thailand, but in general, wherever. After all, these people, although they have special knowledge, are primarily sellers. This means that all unwritten trade rules work here.
And the basic rule is the reality — when a person does not know what he wants to buy, then he needs to sell something that is not selling well. In addition, foreigners often note that medical and provisional training of pharmacists in Thailand leaves much to be desired — just the case when you are dealing not with a pharmacist, but with the seller.
It should be clarified here that it is more concerned with pharmacies that are not related to medical institutions. Service in Thai hospital pharmacies, on the contrary, receives good reviews: they will not only sell the prescribed drug, but also clarify whether you know how to take it.
What medicines it makes sense to carry with you to Thailand
Obviously, a set of drugs depends on the diseases that a person has or is prone to. For most, it will be appropriate to have with you:
- a remedy for intestinal infections (eg, furazolidone);
- an immunostimulant (in case of dengue fever or other viral infection);
- anti-inflammatory and analgesic non-narcotic agent (in case of toothache, headache, etc.).
Antiseptic sprays and lozenges, parathyol-containing medicines are widely represented in Thai pharmacy chains — it is not necessary to carry them with you. Antibiotics in Thailand are sold by prescription, which is justified because drugs of this series should be prescribed by a doctor if there are obvious symptoms.
What medicines can you bring to Thailand?
As in other countries, in Thailand there is a restriction on the circulation and movement of medicines containing narcotic substances. What is denoted by the word drugs is divided into several categories:
- the drugs themselves are illegal in Thailand;
- drugs containing drugs or their derivatives or precursors;
- prescription drugs that do not contain restricted to the distribution of substances;
- OTC products.
The trafficking of substances from the first group in Thailand is prohibited: they do not belong to medicines in the usual sense.
Preparations from groups 3 and 4 can be imported into Thailand without restriction for personal use (i.e. a little). If a person needs constant medical support and a first-aid kit looks impressive, then it is better to have all prescriptions and medical prescriptions with you. They will not be superfluous if questions arise from the customs service.
The second group is the most difficult. Here you need not only to have a prescription for medicines that are limited in circulation, but also to undergo additional control measures:
- complete form IC-2 FDA Thailand;
- provide an extract from the medical record with an indication of the patient’s health, need and intensity of medication, data on the prescribed treatment doctor;
- proceed along the red corridor in the customs control zone, where the medicines are declared.
Under these conditions, each person can import drugs containing narcotic substances, their analogues or precursors, for no more than 30 days of administration. In this case, the medicines must have the original packaging, not be opened. In addition, such a tourist in Thailand is forbidden to transfer or sell imported drugs to other people.