Easy Guide: "Sending HIV prescription drugs to Taiwan"
Important points to note about the required documents
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its consequences for the ability to cross national borders, the movement of people and goods is subject to various restrictions. In the past, HIV-positive foreigners in Taiwan used to be able to access their medication in Taiwan by personally carrying it with them when entering Taiwan, buying it from websites, or having it sent from their home countries. The new situation has created additional uncertainties.
Still, HIV drugs are prescription drugs and must be reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (from here on referred to as the "Food and Drug Administration") before they can be brought to Taiwan. Since the current Food and Drug Administration website is not available in multiple languages and foreigners are usually not familiar with Taiwanese law, they may experience difficulties obtaining their medication in Taiwan.
To address this information gap, our Association has produced this easy guide "Sending HIV prescription drugs to Taiwan" in Mandarin, English, Indonesian and Vietnamese, so as to help foreign nationals to quickly understand the steps of the application process.
Any application for sending HIV prescription drugs to Taiwan needs to be made through the online system of the Food and Drug Administration.
We have put together three important key points and explain the mutual relationship between these various documents in the pictures below. This should be useful as a checklist in the process of preparing the documents and submitting the application.
Key Point 1
- Personal Identification Document: As a personal identification document, other than a residence permit, a valid passport is also acceptable.
- Assurance Statement: When filling in the Assurance Statement of Drug Application for Personal Use (個人自用藥物切結書) it's sufficient to fill in either the English or the Chinese version.
- Prescription: The prescription issued by a physician must specify the same drugs (same names and quantities) as in the application for sending drugs to Taiwan, and the specification must be clear and accurate, including the component substances, number of packages and number of individual pills per package. The drugs specified in the Assurance Statement of Drug Application for Personal Use must also be identical to the prescription.
- For example: Drug name Genvoya (component drugs: Elvitegravir / Cobicistat / Emtricitabine / Tenofovir alafenamide), 6 bottles of 30 pills per bottle (key point 2).
Key Point 2
- Image of drug box and instruction: One way of obtaining images of the drug box, instructions (package insert), or list of contents could also be to search online and take screenshots. The more complete, the better.
Key Point 3
- Depending on where the drugs are sent from, the following is required:
- If the drugs are sent from the applicant's home country, a medical certificate of diagnosis and a prescription issued by a physician are required. These documents must have been issued by the applicant's regular medical institution in their home country, and this medical institution must be recognized by the country's central health authority.
- If the drugs are purchased from an online drug selling platform, the applicant can request a medical institution in Taiwan to issue a certificate of diagnosis and a doctor's prescription
- In Taiwan, it is not sufficient to have only the doctor's signature on a prescription. A stamp of the hospital as well as the doctor is required to prove that this prescription was really issued by the hospital and not made by yourself.
The attachments below include:
- "My HIV Medication": the detailed instruction for Taiwan FDA Drug Application for personal use.
- "Important Notes for My HIV Medication"
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further assistance.
Translation: Erick, Detlev