Bringing Medication to Denmark
The U.S. Department of State provides the following basic advice regarding traveling abroad with medication:
- Bring medication in your carry-on luggage
- Keep medication in its original container and clearly labeled
- Assure that your medication is legal to carry into the country
- Bring a doctor’s note listing medication and why you are taking it
Meet with Your Doctor Before Traveling Abroad
DIS recommends that you talk to your doctor well in advance about your plans to travel abroad. Ask your doctor if they have any concerns with you receiving enough of your prescription medication for the duration of your time abroad. If your insurance only allows a limited amount of prescription at a time and this isn’t enough for your term abroad, call your insurance company and ask for an exception. A copy of your acceptance from DIS will often assist your appeal for additional coverage. Some students have been unable to receive an exception and have had to pay out of pocket for the additional month(s). If this is your situation, ask if you can later file for reimbursement from the insurance company.
Note: Birth control is a legal substance in Denmark; talk with your doctor about bringing enough birth control for the entire semester.
The Danish Health Authority limits the amount and type of medication that can be carried into the country. Generally, any type of medication that contains amphetamine, benzodiazepine, methylphenidate, and other euphoriants has import restrictions, which limits the amount that can be carried into Denmark to a 14-day supply. Read more about the Danish Health Authority here.
Never travel internationally with medical marijuana in any form. Marijuana is illegal in many countries, including Denmark. Students with a U.S. prescription for marijuana can be arrested, prosecuted, and deported if in possession of any illegal substance. U.S. Airports and airplanes are under federal jurisdiction. Federal authorities do not recognize medical marijuana laws or cards of any state. If you are in possession of illegal substances, you can be detained and arrested when going through security on your way out of or into the U.S.
If the medication does not contain euphoriants, you are generally allowed to bring enough medication for your time abroad. Improperly importing medication which contains euphoriants to Denmark may result in having the medication seized, receiving a fine, or other repercussions.
Follow the instructions below to apply for a Danish Medication Import Certificate in order to legally import medication containing euphoriants.
When you have medication to bring to Denmark, make sure to bring:
- The medication in its original container
- A copy of the prescription and a statement from the doctor explaining your condition
- Proof of legal purchase of the medication (e.g. a receipt from the pharmacy where it was purchased)
Medication cannot be sent via mail to Denmark. Any medication mailed to Denmark will be intercepted by Danish Customs before release, and if the medication is prohibited in the EU, it will be destroyed.
How to Apply
A certificate from the Danish Medicines Agency will give you permission to import a full supply of an otherwise not allowed medication. Below are simple steps to apply for the certification. After applying, you will receive a response directly from the Danish Medicines Agency. If you have any questions about this process, please call the DIS North American Office.
- Email the Danish Medicines Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include a letter from your doctor stating how long you are staying in Denmark, which medication(s) you need, diagnoses documentation, medication dosage, and all active compounds in these medications
- Include your full name, date of birth, date of arrival to Denmark, and departure from Denmark
Note: These emails should be sent as early as possible; at least four weeks before the expected entry into Denmark.
If You Cannot Bring Enough Medication for Your Time Abroad: Next Steps
If you run into any problems getting enough medication to bring to Denmark or the medication is not allowed to be brought into the country, you may be able to receive the medication in Denmark. However, this should only be a fallback option as it doesn’t always work seamlessly.
1. Find out if your medication is available in Denmark or look up potential substitutes: Consult this official website about medicine in Denmark with your home doctor. This resource provides information on medication that can be legally obtained in Denmark, along with prices and availability. Here are some tips for navigating this website:
- There are two links for English, but only one of them will be useful for you in searching the legal medication list. Use the link for ‘English’ that is on the right-most side of the screen, between the words ‘Søg’ and ‘Print’
- Search for active substances instead of brand names of the medication you use. The active substances of the medication may be available in Denmark, while the specific brand name you use is not
- Searching for the active substances will let you know if any generic drugs are available and you can look up substitute types of medication under different brand names
- A specific type of medication might be distributed under a different brand name in Denmark
- Sometimes, the active substance is spelled slightly differently in Denmark. For example, if you are searching for ‘Vyvanse,’ you would enter the active substance ‘Lisdexamfetamine’ and not find anything. If you delete the ‘e’ on the end of the substance and instead search for ‘Lisdexamfetamin,’ you will see the correct results
- If the medication is described as ‘discontinued,’ then it is currently not available in Denmark. If you see a price next to a medication, it is available in Denmark
- Only use this website in consultation with your home doctor. Once you have consulted the page together, your doctor will decide whether or not to switch to a substitute in Denmark’
- Please contact the DIS North American Office if you have any questions
2. If you find your medication is available in Denmark, you cannot fill a U.S. prescription in Denmark. Instead, to fill a prescription, you need to make an appointment with a Danish doctor who may be willing to write you a prescription. Read more about visiting a doctor in Denmark here. Additional info:
- You need to bring documentation for your condition from your home doctor, as well as information about the specific type of medication you take to facilitate the conversation
- It is the Danish doctor who decides whether or not you will need the prescription here in Denmark, not yourself, or your home doctor. Discuss with your U.S. doctor whether you wish to take this risk, and have a backup plan
- If the medication you need is to treat ADHD or mental health diagnosis, you will most likely need to see a Danish psychiatrist. These appointments are very difficult to get and Danish standards for treatment differ from those in the U.S. Thus, you will most likely be better served by receiving enough medication from your U.S. doctor for your term abroad.
- DIS medical insurance coverage for pre-existing illnesses is limited. Review details and make a plan if you need additional insurance
3. If you find that your medication is not available in Denmark: Discuss with your doctor, well in advance of travel, the options for switching to a medication you can either bring with you or receive in Denmark. Any change in treatment may require an adjustment period and close monitoring by a medical professional, which you will want to undertake while still in the U.S.
NOTE: The information on this page is subject to change. For official information, rely on information provided by your doctor(s) and this official Danish website.