Yes, we do! You can reach us Monday to Friday, between 9:15-17:15 Central European Time on either:
Most countries have legislation set out in their national Medicines Act enabling patients to import a medicine from overseas that has not yet been approved in their country, provided that they have doctor's prescription and some additional requirements that differ from country to country.
Unfortunately, the exportation and importation of just one medicine from one country to another can be quite a complex process. TheSocialMedwork was founded to meet this need.
A doctor's prescription is required in order for the medicine to be legally imported into your country. It's important that medicines are prescribed and administered by a trained doctor and that the treatment under professional conditions is provided by the treating doctor. We highly value the doctor-patient relationship; our role is to support access to a medicine when sought by both patient and doctor.
The cost of each medicine is set by the pharmaceutical company. Sometimes certain medicines are only distributed to certain wholesalers from whom the medicine can then be sourced. We add a maximum 15% margin to the best price we get from our wholesaler network (which is already included in the price you see listed on the product page) – as well as a support handling fee of €295 per order. This fee covers the cost of our services, enabling us to continue functioning as a social enterprise. Any revenue we make will be re-invested into growing our service. We strive to cut out as many middle men as possible and always aim for the best price possible.
The prescription should include:
The prescription should ideally be issued in English; alternatively, a translation (unofficial is sufficient) should be provided.
Sometimes patients are able to access the medicine they're seeking through a clinical trial. Should that be the case, then there's no need for our service. Patients can check for clinical trials at ClinicalTrial.gov or Antidote.me. An advantage of accessing a clinical trial is that the medicine is free of charge – pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to charge participants. A disadvantage is that many trials are still 'placebo-controlled'. This usually means that the participant has a 50% chance of receiving the placebo (instead of the treatment), but do check the specific conditions of the clinical trial you're considering yourself.
Another option is to get access to a compassionate use program or an early access program for the new medicine, should such a program be running in the patient's country. Patients can check for such programs at websites like MyTomorrows.
Unfortunately, the requirements for taking part in a clinical trial or compassionate use program are often very strict. Statistics show that approximately 95 % of patients are excluded from such programs.
TheSocialMedwork exists to support the 95 % of patients who aren't able to access the new medicine they need via a special program.
In some countries and even in individual cases, health insurance companies may partially or fully cover the cost of the medicine. If you need to, we recommend to checking with your insurance before ordering. Each health insurance company will have their individual procedures for submitting a request. However, as a starting point, we recommend writing a letter to them outlining the fact that:
It might also be a good idea to attach a copy of the prescription and a supporting letter from your physician, if possible.
Some countries have a government fund providing financial assistance for citizens to access lifesaving medical treatment overseas, if a similar treatment isn't available at home. In some instances (e.g. in the UK and Australia), patients have been able to access their pension or superannuation fund for treatment. The best thing would be to check with your country's health department, or your personal pension or superannuation fund.
We also highly recommend checking out local patient-blogs, communities and patient organisations to find out more about your options.
Can't find the answer you're looking for? Send us a message.