Warning! If you travel with Rx Medications

Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Warning! If you travel with Rx Medications

Has anyone else encountered this? I just phone the TSA and they confirmed it.
My SIL caught a flight last night to the East Coast and she had non-liquid Rx medications with her. She said that, not only did she have to put it in the bin, but they took them out, wrote the names and also checked to be sure the name on *each* bottle matched her flight ticket. They had a count of the bottles and filled out some paperwork. They kept the paperwork and gave her a copy of it. This is a domestic flight.
My goodness, isn't this a violation of a patient/doctor relationship? I mean, only our doc is supposed to know what he or she prescribes. I just think it is wrong.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 09:34 AM
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I forgot to say that this is especially shameful, given the fact that on TSA's own website they say that taking the pills in the original bottle is recommended, not required. My SIL had other pills in pill pouches and they made her discard them! SHE NEEDS THEM for medical reasons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:09 AM
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I'm a physician and still get grief in the US.
Go figure. And, they want to give these goofs union status/protection?
God help travelers.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:38 AM
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It is total hit or miss. I've taken meds through in weekly pill boxes and I've also taken them through in original containers.

IMO the problem isn't whether or not they have job security; it is whether or not they are consistent in following their own written policies.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Anyone who needs medications also needs a note from the doctor who prescribed them when traveling on an airplane. Not that hard. My friend who is diabetic travels with an insulin pump (attached to her) as well as needles and insulin. She always brings a note and has never had an issue.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Andrew,no you do not need a note from your doctor when you are travelling with most presribed medications. It may be different for someone with needles as normally they would not be allowed for security reasons.

cira, could you clarify whether or not the meds were in the bottles they came in from the pharmacy with the doctor's name, the patient's name, etc?

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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:48 AM
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Is there more to this than mentioned? I am flabergasted that security personnel who have to screen hundreds of passengers would count the pills unless there were some reason. Most every passenger carries some pills. Did they let her take some on the flight after all?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:10 AM
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I have never had a problem with TSA and medication. We flew in November with more than usual in the way of pills and no one glanced at the bottles.

This is the page on the TSA website that deals with medications etc:
http://tinyurl.com/kv3uv

This is a quote from the TSA website regarding medications:

<< For more details on what is or is not permitted through screening and aboard your plane, please read our information on Permitted and Prohibited Items.

We recommend, but not require, that passengers bring along any supporting documentation (ID cards, letter from doctor, etc.) regarding their medication needs.
We also recommend, but not require, that the label on prescription medications match the passengers boarding pass.
If the name on prescription medication label does not match the name of the passenger, the passenger should expect to explain why to the security officers.
To ensure a smooth screening process, passengers are encouraged to limit quantities to what is needed for the duration of the flight. >>
Judging by the wording here, I am thinking that there was either 1- a wacko TSA agent working that day, or more likely 2- more to this story..

I will find out soon enough, we are moving out of the country, I will be carrying a LOT of prescription meds with me .. a lot ... lol.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:14 AM
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I just flew twice this week and also twice earlier in month { using ABQ, Minneapolis, Houston and Durango airports}. I had prescription meds in my carry on [non-liquids] and simply left them in carry on. They went through the screening thing without any question. One was in original bottle; other was in a "days of the week" holder.

I did have my 1 qt. ziplock bag filled with my 3 oz. bottles; took that and put it in a bin and it too went through the screening device.

I did not see anyone get the kind of scrutiny you are talking about.

I also had some over the counter meds in carry on and purse and no issues there.



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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:17 AM
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I *NEVER* place any type of prescription medicine in my checked baggage. I *ALWAYS* carry all of my medications with me in my carry on. I would rather pay to change my flight than go without my medicines for my trip, or (worse) have to throw them out!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Mike, what kind of grief do you get? As a private citizen/traveler or in your work as a physician?

They counted each and every one of her bottles, they wrote the names down. I actually saw a TSA video on their site, unable to access it any longer, and they wrote down the meds and gave a copy of the paper to the traveler.

They had her dump two pouches that had meds and were not in a bottle. This was down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They attempted to call her physician, but he is out of town and it was late Friday.

This is just appalling to me. She is of sound and mind and wasn't behaving like someone on meds or anything like that. Inexcusable. They are NOT consistent in anything they do. THIS is the problem, it depends on whether the TSA agent is having a good or bad day, whether they like your face or not. Amazing. I'm just stunned. The more I think of it, the angrier I become. If this is not a violation of our rights, I do not know what is. What do THEY care if I am taking 100 pills or 3 or in whose name it is. What is a terrorist going to do, make everyone swallow an antibiotic??????? I'm sorry I don't get it. I have always thought it was alright to do these searches for our safety, but this takes the cake.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:29 AM
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.and by the way, as I said I spoke to TSA on the phone. On top of everything else, they take your name and telephone number and they say they ask whether you are the passenger or not. At one point during one of my phone calls to them, I cut the girl off and said, "my number and name won't be necessarys, I'm asking questions re: your TSA rules & regs".
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:39 AM
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My sister had this happen once, on one leg (only) of her flight, about a month after the restrictions on liquids were first established. No one else in our large family has had it happen in the course of many trips since. One of us carries pre-packaged syringes full of medication, and no one has ever batted an eyelash. My impression is that they are doing this kind of detailed screening on some kind of random "spot-check" basis. As with many of their policies, it is hard to understand what real security benefit is being obtained. However, I suspect that the directions to do this, or to do it every x number of passengers, are coming from some level higher than the individual screeners, so I would not blame them. (Though there are certainly other things to hold some of them accountable for . . .. )
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:48 AM
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I am thinking that maybe they did it because she made the "mistake" (?) of putting all her pill bottles in a ziploc bag inside her carry-on and she put her liquids in the bin, but not the pills. So, when they put the bag through the screening, and they opened the zipper to look inside, they felt or saw the Ziploc bag and thought it was liquids too? Perhaps.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:10 PM
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http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-...tml?id=2292940
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Cira, in your link, is what I posted here. From the TSA site regarding medications.

I still think that between her telling you and you telling it here, there might have been something left out..as you say, she carried them separately etc.
It does not make sense with security lines etc, for TSA workers to stop what they are doing and start jotting down numbers etc in a random way, something must have made them feel the need to examine her more closely.

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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:46 PM
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I do not know what their reasoning is, but I would think that confidential information about the meds a person is taking is just that: confidential. Once they saw that the bottles had her name, that should have been it.

She does not drink or smoke. The meds she takes are medically necessary. She is filing a complaint with the TSA because now she is out of one of the meds that she must take because the TSA person had her discard them. No supervisor was present at the gate she was at...she asked.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:47 PM
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When I fly to Ireland later this month, I'm planning to put all liquids in my checked baggage. But I certainly don't want to chance losing my prescription meds. So do I just leave them in my carry on? Or do I need to put them in a ziploc bag? They're not liquid. So I don't want to confuse the issue by carrying them separately if I don't have to.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
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I think when you go through security at an airport, nothing is confidential. Whatever their reasons for doing what they did, that argument isn't going to get you anywhere.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:56 PM
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CAPH -- just leave the pills in your carry on bag and you will be fine.
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