Pharmacies : Is your Medication available in Bangkok (Thailand)?
Is the medication you require available?
We sometimes receive emails from prospective long-term visitors to Thailand, asking whether a certain medication is available in the country. We are less certain about in-hospital expensive intravenous medication, but as a general rule : more likely than not what you require is available.
There are exceptions. A friend of us (he passed away now) had late stage Parkinson's disease, and had to always bring a substantial supply of medication with him from Europe, because the drugs he needed where not all available (although a search with Google revealed they were quite commonly used).
What we sometimes do, when the local pharmacies are unlikely to provide sufficient help, is contact the pharmacy at Bumrungrad Hospital. The few times we did this we always got a satisfying response within one or two days. Besides the brand name of your medication, it is very useful to provide the generic (real name) and the exact dosage. Also provide information on whether you medication is long-acting or not.
They will also most likely provide you with the cost of the drugs required. To be sure, you could ask them in advance. If the medication is available at Bumrungrad, you know it is available in Thailand. However, a local pharmacy may not have it, but you could give it a try. If local pharmacies do not have it, you can always go to Bumrungrad. If you have a proper prescription, the pharmacy there most likely will give you your supply, otherwise you may have to see a physician. Be aware that your medication will cost more than when purchased at a local pharmacy, and possibly even be more expensive than what you would pay at home.
A last resort (or you may try them first) before going to Bumrungrad Hospital, is a visit to the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmacy. It is located close to the pedestrian bridge between Siam Square and MBK shopping center (go to Siam Square by skytrain to get into the neightborhood). The building looks quite old, but reputedly (we do not have personal experience) the service and English language spoken are very good.
Email adresses : nimit.k@ chula .ac.th - jnatasar@ chula .ac.th