Taking Medication to Denmark (Semester)

Bringing Medication to Denmark

It is your responsibility to ensure that all medication you are importing is legal and does not contain euphoriants and/or doping substances.

The U.S. Department of State provides the following basic advice regarding traveling abroad with medication:

  • Assure that your medication is legal to carry into the country
  • Bring medication in your carry-on luggage; it should be in its original container with the prescription label attached

Note: Over-the-counter (OTC) cold and sleep aid medicines typically found in the U.S. are not available in Denmark. DIS recommends that you bring a limited supply of OTC medication for your use abroad.

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 about 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.

It is not possible to fill a U.S. prescription in Denmark an it is illegal to ship medications to Denmark, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to bring enough of your medication to last for your semester abroad.

Danish Customs

The Danish Health Authority limits the amount of prescription medications that can be brought into the country. Most prescription medication is allowed, but limited to a 90-day supply, with the exception of “controlled substances (i.e. those that contain narcotics, stimulants, euphoriants, and/or testosterone), which are limited to a 30-day supply. Read more about the Danish Health Authority here. To bring a supply that exceeds these limits, you must apply for a Danish Medication Import Certificate. Start this process as soon as possible, but at least two months prior to arrival. 

Below are simple steps to apply for the certificate. After applying, you will receive a response directly from the Danish Medicines Agency. If you have any questions about this process, please reach out to healthaccommodation@DISabroad.org.

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.

  1. Email the Danish Medicines Agency at privates.import@dkma.dk
  2. Include a letter from your doctor stating which medication(s) you need, diagnoses documentation, medication dosage, all active compounds in these medications, and the specific quantities of each medication that you intend to bring. *This step is not required for birth control. You can simply provide a photo of your prescription label.
  3. Include your full name, date of birth, reason for your stay in Denmark, date arrival to Denmark, and date of departure from Denmark.

Important! These emails should be sent as early as possible; at least two months before the expected entry into Denmark.

Note: 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 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
  • 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, note that 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. Please contact the North American Office to discuss this process as there are often limitations to the types of medication that certain doctors can prescribe. Some medications must be prescribed by a specialist, which may require extra steps to be taken prior to your arrival in Denmark.

Additional info when seeing a Danish doctor for a prescription:

  • You will 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 you will need the prescription in Denmark, not yourself, or your home doctor. Discuss with your home doctor whether you wish to take this risk, and have a backup plan
  • If the medication you need is to treat ADHD or another 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 home doctor for your term abroad. If you must see a Danish psychiatrist, reach out to the North American Office as soon as possible prior to your departure to start the process of scheduling an appointment — do not wait until you run out of your medication; you will not be able to get a psychiatry appointment last-minute.
  • 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.