New App Helps Travelers Find Appropriate Medications Abroad

A new app may help streamline medication needs for travelers.

A new app may help streamline medication needs for travelers.

International travel is increasingly more common, but many travelers are often ill prepared for dealing with health issues while abroad.

One French pharmacist was so frustrated with the fact that he wasn’t able to help tourists in his pharmacy get the medications they needed that he developed a new app to help empower travelers with essential medication information.

The “Convert Drugs Premium” app allows users to find information in 11 different languages for therapeutically equivalent medications in 220 countries. Drugs can be searched by either brand name or generic molecule name.

In its Apple app store description, Convert Drugs Premium promises that health care professionals who use it will “be able to quickly help visitors from other countries find the medications they need, or help advise domestic patients about the products they will and will not be able to find in the country they plan to travel in.”

One immediate benefit of the app is that it may be able to help travelers avoid medication errors.

The Institute for Safe Medication Use (ISMP) previously received reports involving brand-name medications that may contain different active ingredients in another country. Having an app to sort through that information may reduce the likelihood of such errors.

Nevertheless, Convert Drugs Premium could never serve as a replacement for in-person patient counseling. Patients and health care professionals alike should always be cautious of drug information obtained from the Internet.

Pharmacists have several excellent resources at their disposal to help them advise travelers with prescriptions medications.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a resource called the Yellow Book that includes travel information on medications and vaccines. It is available as an app on both Android and Apple products.

Beyond patient safety, pharmacists interested in providing more services to patients traveling domestically or abroad can tap into a big business opportunity.

Offering immunizations, OTC travel recommendations, travel consults, and travel accessories can help improve patient preparedness while improving the pharmacy’s bottom line.

The Convert Drugs Premium app is currently only available for iOS devices for $7.99, but it is expected to become available for all devices in the near future.