Getting prescription medication in the UK

Hi, we are Australian sitters and will be in the UK full time sitting for around 4 months. We will be out of Australia for around 6 months. Australia and the UK have reciprocal public health arrangements but how do we get our prescription medications in the UK? I don’t think we will be able to take 6 months of medication from Australia. Is it easy enough to book an appointment with a GP and show them our prescriptions to get UK ones or can we just go to a pharmacy with our scripts?

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I have been pondering this & a few ideas.

I would check w your dr if you may need a letter from their clinic so overseas customs officers know the meds are legit & pharmacies may be able to provide a generic option.

I would even head to my local pharmacy & ask the pharmacist if they have any helpful info or if they can indeed give multiple repeats at once if going overseas? Also what if the meds need to be kept chilled?

Sorry for the ramble but it may spark a few ideas on your side :+1:


Hi @Crookie I take all my medication with me when I go to the UK for 3-5 months. There is a code your GP can use on prescriptions which allows the pharmacist to give you bulk medications. I also carry a letter from my GP which outlines the medications I am on. I have never been queried over them being in my luggage for my past 6 visits to the UK but am prepared nevertheless.


We did a sit in Ireland and another in Australia where my husband didn’t bring enough of his medication. He called his pharmacist who faxed his prescription to the pharmacy in Ireland and they filled his medication without seeing a doctor. It was different in Australia - he had to book an appointment with a doctor and receive a prescription from the attending doctor. I guess each country has different protocol.

I would be interested to hear the right answer when you find out. I was travelling in NZ and Oz for 9 months (pre pandemic). My GP very kindly eventually granted me 6 months of prescriptions (it’s only Levothyroxine for an under active thyroid). I eked them out by taking them every other day. I made enquiries while in NZ to find out how I could get more when the time came and was told I’d have to go to a GP which would cost about $150 for consultation, pay for the prescription and tablets.