International SOS warns travellers on World Diabetes Day: Pack your own medication - and watch out for counterfeit drugs

2013-11-14 10:27 1458

BEIJING, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- International SOS marks World Diabetes Day on 14 November by issuing guidance to international travellers on how to plan and prepare for overseas trips.

Diabetes affects 6% of the world's population. The World Health Organisation says diabetes is a major threat to global public health.

Dr Gordon Peters, Medical Director of North Asia at International SOS, based in Beijing said:

"There is a significant amount of counterfeit medication being sold, particularly in developing countries. In some cases 20-30% of pharmaceuticals are fake.

Add to this the fact that many medications used to treat diabetes - especially newer drugs available in developed nations - may not be available at a traveller's destination and you have one obvious solution: Plan well in advance.

Take plenty of your own medications to avoid taking the risk of trying to buy fresh supplies abroad. You might not find what you need - or you might find what you buy is fake and either useless or even dangerous."

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of sugar in your blood is too high. This is because the body either does not make enough insulin, or can't use it as well as it should.

Travellers and expatriates with diabetes - points to remember:

  • Ensure your diabetes is stable and controlled before your trip.
  • Take a good supply of your regular medication. Allow for possible delays and changes to your itinerary and minimise stopovers as much as possible.
  • Be aware your medication may not be available in all countries.
  • In some countries, counterfeit medication is common, so avoid having to go to a pharmacy where possible.

 "Speak to your doctor or diabetes advisor before your trip. Discuss how much medication you need to take and how to manage your condition as you travel through different time zones," added Dr Peters.

Further Information -- International SOS video briefing available

Diabetes expert Dr. Kate O'Reilly speaks from the International SOS Assistance Centre in London and provides a 3-minute introduction to diabetes risk, management and prevention.

View the video online here  

About International SOS (

International SOS is the world's leading medical and travel security risk services Company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 700 locations in 76 countries.

Our expertise is unique: More than 10,000 employees are led by 1,200 physicians and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members.

We have pioneered a range of preventative programmes and offer an unparalleled response to emergencies. We are passionate about helping clients put 'Duty of Care' into practice. With us multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas.

Source: International SOS