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Author Topic: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand  (Read 2433 times)

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Offline KD123

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« on: August 21, 2018, 11:00:22 pm »
I have been offered a great job opportunity in Taipei. My understanding is that the country no longer screens for HIV as part of the work visa process.  I would be, however, be responsible to pay out of pocket for my HIV meds (citizens are covered, though).  If anyone can confirm this, I would be very grateful.

My acquaintances in Taiwan tell me they go to Thailand to stock up on PrEP as it is expensive in Taiwan. I am also told that there are relatively cheaper mail delivery services for Taiwanese seeking PrEP. Does anyone have experience buying Odefsey or Biktary in Asia?  What countries are the best source? And what is the process in acquiring these meds?

Thanks

Offline Ptrk3

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  • Member
  • Posts: 2,646
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 11:13:49 pm »
It's customary in one's introductory post to provide context, in order for forum members to be appropriately responsive to your post.

Are you HIV-positive, for instance, and how long and are you prescribed and adhering to an antiretroviral regimen?

You're asking about PrEP, which implies you may not be HIV-positive, which is cool (and you want to stay HIV-negative), but please provide more details in order that forum members can assist you.

HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline KD123

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
HIV+, relocating to Taiwan, buying medication in Thailand
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 12:06:20 am »
(sorry for the repost, but I was unable to find the "modify" button to edit my original post)

I was diagnosed with HIV in 2009. Fortunately, once diagnosed and treated my viral load drop to undetectable from 700,000 copies in three months. Over the past 9 years, my CD4 count has never dropped below 800. For the first 3 years I was taking Atripla, Complera for another 3 or so, and now I'm on Odefsey.  I plan to transition to Biktarvy soon.   

I have been offered a great job opportunity in Taipei. My understanding is that the country no longer screens for HIV as part of the work visa process.  I would be, however, be responsible to pay out of pocket for my HIV meds (citizens are covered, though).  If anyone can confirm this, I would be very grateful.

My acquaintances in Taiwan tell me they go to Thailand to stock up on PrEP as it is expensive in Taiwan. I am also told that there are relatively cheaper mail delivery services for Taiwanese seeking PrEP. Does anyone have experience buying Odefsey or Biktarvy in Asia?  What countries are the best source? And what is the process in acquiring these meds?

Thanks

Offline terrymoore

  • Member
  • Posts: 469
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 05:15:09 am »
Hi KD123.
Yes, you can definately buy your meds (6 months worth) in BKK. You need to bring a prescription in ENGLISH for 6 months worth of meds. If you do not have one with you, you can see a local doctor and he will write one for you. Here is some info from an old post (if you search in this forum for "Bangkok" or "Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic" you will get more info). Here is my old post. Good luck!
"Hi Peeps,
I just wanted to post some info for anyone who might be searching about Thailand/Bangkok.
Yesterday i had to do my 6 month blood test and renew my prescription. So, even though my doctor is at Bumrungrad (a well-known private hospital), he recommended that i use the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic for tests and buying meds since it is MUCH cheaper (http://en.trcarc.org/?page_id=632).
I did a VL and CD4 test, full blood test (CBC), phosphates, potassium, sugars and lipids. I also bought 6 months worth of semi-generic Complera (Edurant and Ricovir Em). All this cost me around 6,500 THB ( around $200 USD).
The doc appointment at Bumrungrad should cost around 40-50$. So around 500$/Year if all goes well and is stable.
So, in case you are wondering costs, i hope this helps.."


Offline Expat1

  • Member
  • Posts: 226
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 04:36:15 pm »
TAF is not yet available in Thailand. So you will have to get drugs that are in Complera :  Generic truvada (Recovir EM or TenoEM) and Edurant.  The cost in a Private Thai hospital (Pattaya Memoral for this is Edurant 800 bath, Ricovir 2300 baht. per month.  PLus lab fees for various blood tests, and doctor fee.
Thai red cross is cheaper, at Edurant at 300 baht for 30 tablets, and TenoEM at about 700 baht also 30 tablets.

Offline Gladragsguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 12:54:48 pm »
The above information is correct. Also if you have a prescription for ODEFSEY they won't be able to fill it for you in Thailand so try and ask your doctor for a second prescription of emtricitabine/rilpivirine/TDF which is widely available. Also where will you be getting your next prescription from? Do consider it. You can buy meds in Taipei but I am unaware of the prices. As for Biktarvy don't hold your breath...we are still are awaiting GENVOYA 3 years on here in Thailand...hopefully by November.

Offline fatty2222

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 10:45:03 pm »
Hi
First of all welcome to Taipei,Taiwan : )
So for me,local our medicine is free but for foreigner basically for the first two years they will pay the medicine by themselves.After the two years they are the same as local,subsidize by the government.

As for the Hospital,all hospital is friendly but I tend to go to Kumming Hospital.I get my medicine from there too.

So here is some information you can reference,
How to register or seek help at Kumming Hospital

https://english.tch.gov.taipei/News_Content.aspx?n=E3FB89FAFCBD4C78&sms=8EEA3C411C74E2A0&s=D920CE665F856E38

News about HIV treatment for foreigners

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/02/07/2003664511
http://m.focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201502130020.aspx

Hope this information helps,again welcome XD

Offline Smiler1000

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 10:59:39 am »
Hi

I just moved to Taipei but came from Bangkok stocked up with meds for 6 months. I worked there before, bur from the UK. Its much cheaper in Thailand and is partly subsidised if you use the Red Cross clinic with a prescription from a private hospital doctor.  I know one who is really good. Meds are not free in Taiwan for the first two years but I am seeing a doctor this week to check if I need to do anything in the meantime.  Im keen to meet people in Taipei including guys in the same situation so if you/other guys fancy a beer/coffee let me know.

Cheers

Offline Mindless

  • Member
  • Posts: 150
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 11:03:22 am »
The above information is correct. Also if you have a prescription for ODEFSEY they won't be able to fill it for you in Thailand so try and ask your doctor for a second prescription of emtricitabine/rilpivirine/TDF which is widely available. Also where will you be getting your next prescription from? Do consider it. You can buy meds in Taipei but I am unaware of the prices. As for Biktarvy don't hold your breath...we are still are awaiting GENVOYA 3 years on here in Thailand...hopefully by November.

Hi, I live in Bkk and me too Iíve heard rumors about a next availability of Genvoya in Thailand. Currently only Stribild is available and at about 5,500 THB per a 30 pills bottle, if Iím not wrong (Iím on generic version of Complera). Do you have more details about Genvoya, eg. expected price? I used to get information from Adams love website but since the site ďupdateĒ Iíve not been able to find the useful weboard and medications sections.

Cheers

Offline Gladragsguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 11:29:43 pm »
I spoke with the pharmacist at TRC and they still don't have a firm date of when or how much GENVOYA will be. They indicated probably sometime in November and should be a little less than STRIBILD? I will be checking for that information again later this week. As for THE ADAMS LOVE webboard, it is still down and I tried to contact the administrator but the email is also closed so not sure exactly what is happening. You can check www.sonowwhat.asia there is a Beta chatroom opening there that should be fully functional by the end of the month. Good luck.

Offline KD123

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Relocating to Taipei, buying meds in Thailand
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 05:30:26 pm »
Hi everyone,

Thank you for replying to my questions about living in TPE and managing my health. As I understand the rules there, if an expat wants to receive free HIV meds, the expat has to first pay out of pocket for two years.  That means one would require a local physician to write an HIV med scrip and fill it locally for two years. Please correct me if I am wrong. Are their any other medications for chronic illnesses or infections Taiwan's NHI also will not cover?  (e.g., TB, HSV, etc?)

To the people currently living in Taipei, do you know whether Odefsey or Biktarvy are available in local retail pharmacies? If so, do you know what the retail price for those drugs are?  I had heard that there are online pharmacies from which people buy HIV meds (mainly Truvada) and have them delivered to TPE. Does anyone have information about the online pharmacies (ie, the best ones; their legitimacy, etc)  and whether it is legal to receive HIV meds in the mail? I am trying to figure out whether it makes economic sense to travel to BKK every 6 months or to buy meds in TPE.

Finally, are there any ex-pats in TWN who supplement their NHI with private insurance that covers the cost of HIV meds? If so, please tell me which ones are the best.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

Best,
KD123

 


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