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#278182 - 06/12/17 07:31 PM Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi?  
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CookieMonster Offline
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CookieMonster  Offline
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Good afternoon--this is my first post here.

I am travelling to Japan next month from Canada--am travelling all summer and finishing up in Italy in August.

I am not having any luck finding a way to get my Simponi while I am away. Have tried with the patient support program through Janssen/Bioadvance to no avail.

We are on the move and it will be hot, so I don't think taking it along is feasible.

Does anyone have a rheumatologist I could contact to get a prescription from in either of these countries?

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

#278234 - 06/15/17 08:17 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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SouthernMoss Offline
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I've never traveled abroad with my biologic, so I don't have much advice to offer.

You might consider contacting the Canadian embassy (I'm assuming you are Canadian) in Japan and in Italy to see if they have any suggestions to offer.

I don't know much about the Canadian healthcare system. Will it cover medications obtained in other countries? Or would you need to purchase an international health insurance plan?

How many doses of Simponi will you need while traveling?


Ginny - 57 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis
unicompartmental knee replacement June 2014
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Indomethacin ER as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Melatonin, Culturelle probiotic
#278265 - 06/17/17 05:24 AM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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NotMeToo Offline
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It is generally not as easy as just finding. Physician in the detention country to prescribe the medication. You my want to ask your rheumatologist if s/he knows a rheumatologist in Japan or Italy that can help you.

My son spent a semester abroad in Paris. He is on remicade infusions every six weeks. The prescribing guidelines in France did not allow any French doctor to prescribe remicade for him due to his age at the time (16/17). We could not fill an Rx for that drug in France at any price. We ended up having the American specialty pharmacy ship remicade (fedex and on ice) directly to his Paris based rheumatologist. The drug was covered by our American health insurance as were the infusions that were done in France. The French doctors were very interested in following him as they had not treated a pediatric patient with remicade before.

Most provincial health plans in Canada do not cover the cost of prescriptions while traveling out of the country. You would need to check and see if yours does or if any supplemental policy you have would cover it. If they don't, you would need to look into a travel policy. The other alternative would be to have someone fill your Rx at home and ship each dose to you (overnight and packed on ice). Your pharmacy may be able to do that for you.


Not Me Too!
#278273 - 06/19/17 05:11 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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Banana Offline
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I have traveled a long time with Humira and Enbrel. Check with the 800 number, but they actually don't have to be constantly refrigerated, just not HOT. So to prevent temp fluctuations and heat, they keep it refrigerated.

All of them send you free "travel kits" which hold one or two doses. I carried 6 Humiras in a sandwich ice and then the travel kit (with its own ice) in my carry on. I took them out of the boxes but included one of the boxes to show the script, medication. I had to travel 24 hours straight to get to Naples, Italy (it was still cool to touch) Our very cheap hotel took us to this dining place to keep my other Humira's in frig and ice packs in freezer. My only fear was making sure it went into frig and not freezer. Nothing happened to. Everyone was quite nice. Some places we had a frig in our room, other times not but always someone found a place to store it for us.


Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
#278275 - 06/19/17 05:53 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: Banana]  
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RAHMBA Offline
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Welcome Cookie Monster :-) I really like Banana's reply. That particular pharma let me know that they have put a lot of resources toward personal support. You may want to try their 800 assistance line to see what they say. http://www.spondylitis.org/Patient-Assistance-Programs

Your doc/pharmacist doesn't have a way to handle the travel?

Wishing you safe travels!


AS, U C, Iritis, migraines. HLA-B27neg. Yoga (instructor) & spin. No meds at this time. Dx 1989. SAA member/donor since 1993. All my posts are personal opinion/feelings and do not represent the SAA. Help find a cure & support others by donating to the SAA.
#278286 - 06/20/17 03:44 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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drizzit Offline
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My Son lived in Japan for two years on Simponi. He had a note from his rheumy and a filled prescription receipt that he showed to the Doc in Japan who then prescribed the simponi. The japanese doc was not a specialist just a family doc. He had international insurance so if you don't have that you will have to pay out of pocket and then submit the receipts when you get back to your insurance company. Good news is in Japan the simponi only costs about $1,200 versus the $4,000 in the states

#278297 - 06/21/17 06:47 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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Banana Offline
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I forgot to mention that I adjusted my doses so I took the least. A month or two in advance, I started changing the date to I actually injected in the airport parking lot (One less to take with me) smile


Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
#278343 - 06/27/17 04:10 AM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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GardenGnome Offline
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I dont understand. Arent you prescribed Simponi from your doc already? Why cant you bring a few with you? Get them to give you a few in advance after you explain, It should be no problem at all

#278382 - 06/29/17 02:36 PM Re: Travelling in Japan and Italy:How to get Simponi? [Re: CookieMonster]  
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stitches Offline
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Hi,new to this forum and fearful of writing lots to have a computer malfunction and post lost,I'll try and precis my story trying to travel with Simponi.
I take Simponi 1/12. Most recently I wanted to travel in Australia for 2 months. I usually take the injection on the day of my air departure,and take the other in an 'iced pack'.
This is problematic +++. I have to get to the airport,through the check-in and security,then have the injection stored on the plane. So what the prob? Well,the Simponi is s'posed to be stored at the correct temperature to retain its efficacy...and as yet I haven't come across any storage that guarantees its temperature range...so that 4 weeks later I remain uncertain whether the activity of the TNF is still 'live'.
I've discussed this every which way I can with all manner of people...with no credible,definitive advice/reply.
I have dual nationality(UK and Australian)and was thinking of returning to Australia to travel there a year or so. What then to do? I contacted a rheumatologist in Australia for advice,but he said getting authorisation for Simponi to be given to me there (gratis) was an antiquated and complex affair. So I'm back to restrictive leave and time away.
It might be worth adding that I frequently 'backpack',so never know where I'm staying or when I'll arrive in a destination. I like to cycletour,or go walkabout or travel by car or bus on an ad hoc basis.
That's enough for now in case my post goes AWOL. And which I find greatly annoying


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