I have to travel from an European country to China for work (10 days). I received a kidney transplant several years ago, which requires me to take some medications (7 different pills) every day. My doctor has made me a report in which it is stated that I require these drugs specifying the medical condition (note: in English)*.

I have never traveled outside the Schengen area, always carrying 3 separate sets of medications: one goes with me in a small bag along with my wallet and documentation, another goes in the cabin bag, and a third one goes checked in. I carry them in sets like the one in the photo, since otherwise I would have to carry 7x3 different cases, which seems like a nonsense.

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Is this enough to guarantee a safe pasage with my medications?

Thank you very much for your time.

*Note that prescriptions here in my country are electronic, and thus they do not have my name atached.

1 Answer 1


There are no guarantees: that being said, if the pills have no "recreational" value (potential for drug-abuse), then you have less to worry about. I would ensure that your all medication is in properly labeled, preferably by the pharmacy or other authority. The PRC has a very strict policy regarding importation of recreational drugs: I would ensure that any pain medication is properly labeled or just leave it home. Talk to your employer about your concerns and ask for advice from your work peers that have visited China. The Chinese, on the whole, are very reasonable and practical people: especially if they perceive you are cooperative and respectful (which seems to be the case here).

If your medications were only immunno-suppresants and were properly labelled, I would not expect any problems. Given the history with the Opium wars, I would be very aware that they do not take kindly to foreigners bring in additive pills without proper labeling and cause.

Why not type your doctor's note into Google translate and provide a Chinese version? In the unlikely event you a medical emergency, it would be in your interest to have a document with your pills that outlines the pills you require.

  • 3
    I would bring at least one set of boxes, even when folded flat, as the boxes and inserts have more information than the strips with the pills.
    – Willeke
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:03
  • @Willeke That's definitely a good idea, I hadn't thought of that, bringing them folded.
    – user17238
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:48

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