Mesalamine availability in SE Asia, specifically Vietnam....?

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Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/9/2009 4:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi peeps,

I'm new to the forum, I was diagnosed last summer with UC in Japan, where I've been living for about 18months. I'm just coming off the course of steroids and everything else, and looking to maintain remission....

I plan to move to Vietnam in April/May. Is anyone aware of the availability of Mesalamine or similar drugs there?

Thanks muchly,

Chicken.
turn

PalaceDan
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 2/9/2009 5:57 AM (GMT -6)   
There are two/ three international medical facilities in Hanoi - I'm not sure about HCMC. The International SOS Clinic I'm sure would be able to get you what you needed - you can probably e-mail them to let them know you're coming, going to be a patient with them and that you'll need that prescription. They're expensive and have a reputation for being a bit alarmist though. If that doesn't work your best bet would probably be to approach the French hospital - who I assume are also importing.

I doubt Vietnamese get UC, otherwise there'd be dirt cheap mesalamine available that they were making.

The other alternative would be to use Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok (one of the best in the world) and go there once a year and pick up a year's supply there. It's less than two hours flight to Bangkok and not so expensive, and they'll look after you much better there than anything you'll find in VN.
Diagnosed November 2007
10cm moderate
Canasa 1000mg 2 per day, Asocol 2x2 per day, Digestive Advantage Crohns and Colitis probiotic, Animal Pak multivitamin, Aloe gel, concentrated fish oil


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 2/9/2009 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Singapore has great medical care according to my husband who lived there for 6 years - plus English is an official language.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/9/2009 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   
PalaceDan: Thanks for the advice. Have you had any experience with taking fairly large supplies of drugs across the land borders in that area? If you have a prescription, I suppose it's legal..... :oD

jone bone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/11/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I lived in Thailand and frequented Bumrungrad Int hospital to get care. It's expensive and the only meslamine drugs they have are Solofalk. Solofalk is great, but expensive. Your best bet would be to order generic Asacol from a Canadian Pharmacy and have somebody in the stated send it out to you bi-monthly. That's what I did.

I currently live in Japan now, it's nice to have health insurance.

Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/11/2009 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
"Your best bet would be to order generic Asacol from a Canadian Pharmacy and have somebody in the stated send it out to you bi-monthly."

Thanks for this Jone Bone. I don't quite understand what you mean by "somebody in the stated"....? but I'll look into it. Were there any issues with drugs being sent in the post?

Are you aware that the Japanese government will pay 100% of your UC care costs if you're on the national health system? shocked

Yujin
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/11/2009 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I live in the Philippines.. and i take Salofalk... Your all correct.. its too expensive.. I tried the generic Asacol before. I ordr it online. I believe the medicine come from India. Its cheaper copmared with Salofalk but it did not do any change in my conditoin. Only Salofalk made me feel better. So even its expensive, its still the one im taking.. no choice...
Diagnosed with UC on 2007. Undergone Fistulotomy on 2005. Taking Generic Asacol 400mg 3X a day... "HEALTH IS WEALTH"


PalaceDan
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 2/11/2009 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Re your question I never crossed a land border. I don't know what to advise - Vietnamese customs can be capricious, and it's hard to know what they'd do confronted with something they didn't recognise, and where you probably couldn't communicate with them about what it was anyway. I'd be nervous to do it.

I'd probably have it mailed to a business address there. That way the worst case scenario is that someone in the post office is funny about it, and that can always be resolved with a 'donation'.
Diagnosed November 2007
10cm moderate
Canasa 1000mg 2 per day, Asocol 2x2 per day, Digestive Advantage Crohns and Colitis probiotic, Animal Pak multivitamin, Aloe gel, concentrated fish oil


Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/11/2009 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Yujin and PalaceDan.

Dan: When I said "landborder", I really meant "border".... Did you experience taking the drugs through an airport?

jone bone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, i meant "states" because Canada won't ship anywhere else. I'm on the Japanese health plan but they don't have Asacol and Pentasa doesn't work for me. But I get the Pentasa enemas if nothing else.

Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Jone Bone;

Thanks. Unfortunately I don't know anyone in the States, I'll see if I can get some from India like Yujin.

Interestingly, Pentasa didn't work for me at first either. I was diagnosed here, but I started comparing notes with some people at ColitisUK (being English) and discovered that the average person was being given a dose of Pentasa two or three times what I was getting in Japan. (Some people were on 1500mg with each meal) I raised this with the Japanese doctor, and he agreed. The law in Japan is very strict on dosage, and he's legally not allowed to supply a large dose. I managed to get him up to 750mg with each meal (I'd been to a festival, and upped my dose in an attempt not to poo everywhere~ idea ) and this seemed to work.

jone bone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/12/2009 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Really? I didn't realize the dosage, but I went by what I found on the internet and from my doc in the states. You see, I was in remission until I ran out of Asacol and thought "what the hell, I'll try Pentasa, maybe it'll work better."

How wrong I was. Ever since then, I have been in a flare, despite having switched back to Asacol and going on enemas. Can't you get your stuff shipped from the UK? I work with a guy from there who gets his seizure meds shipped from London.

Most people would think us crazy to live in the third world with these problems, but I refused to let this stand in the way of my dreams and still do. By the way, Hoianne is a wonderful place, make sure to hit it up.

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 2/12/2009 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
As far as traveling with the meds, I would find a translator to write you a letter in the languagae of the country you are leaving and the country you are entering, explaining what they are and why they are needed.

I know it is not the same but I flew state side through Germany to Singapore, then to Phuket, Thailand, back to Singapore and then back to the US. I had 2 huge bottles of Pentasa with me and no problems. I also had hysosciamine and a rx acid blocker. But, Singapore is really up to date and Phuket is a resort so they see Americans and American meds all the time.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/12/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Fitzy, I happen to know someone who can write in Vietnamese... cool

Jone; I did a little research, and Canadian companies (specifically, Canadadrugs.com) will ship pretty much anywhere in the world. They do charge though... however, you could get Asacol delivered to Japan, though it seems crazy if you can get free healthcare here. Are you going to a specialist IBD centre?

jone bone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/12/2009 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Pentasa simply doesn't work as well for me and I'd rather pay an extra 200 now than God knows what down the road. Furthermore, I still gotta pay copays here and where I live, I can only see the gastroentrologist every six weeks. I'm assuming you lived in Tokyo, or Osaka, or somewhere a little more metropolitan than I do.

Chicken
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/12/2009 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I live in a semi rural area, I take a train once every five or six weeks to a university hospital. You can get free treatment if you ask your doctor to sign a form, and then take that form to your prefectural "health centre", they'll give you a small blue card with a special number on it, which entitles you to 100% cover. The whole process takes about three months, but, from the day you start it, you can claim back the 30% you're paying. Certainly worth the effort.... personally I was paying about 20-30,000 yen a month.
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