Bringing Prescription Drugs into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Article (5): Clearance of Pharmaceutical Products for Personal Use
It is illegal to import drugs or medical materials that are band in Saudi Arabia or internationally;
It is illegal to import drugs listed in Table 1 in Schedule D and Table 2 in Schedule A, as well as items listed in Article (4) of the Drugs and Narcotics Control Law (found at the website of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.
Request to import prescription drugs must be filed with the branch of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority at the port of entry to which the drugs will arrive.
Drugs that are for personal use will be cleared for import into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided the following conditions are met:
The prescription medications in question must be accompanied either:
Recent medical report (less than six months old) issued by the patient’s medical care provider and clearly stating the following:
personal information of the patient;
generic name of the prescription drugs, dosage and dosage form;
A doctor's prescription (less than six months old) in the name of the patient with the following information:
generic name of the prescription drug, dosage and dosage form;
drug usage instructions and prescribed duration of use; and
official seal of the health care provider.
The person importing the prescription medications will be held personally responsible for its lawful use and agrees to limit its usage to the intended patient only.
Copy of patient identification document.
The amount of allowable prescription medicine to be cleared for import shall for the duration of the visit or one month's supply, whichever is shorter. The prescription medications must remain valid for use during the clearance period and satisfy the following conditions:
In case the quantity of the cleared prescription medications were used up while the patient is in the Kingdom, he/she should visit a physician in a licensed medical facility to verify his/her need to continue on the same drug.
Should the physician confirm such need, a medical file for the patient should be opened at the medical facility before a prescription can be issued. The prescribed drug must then be dispensed by a local pharmacy, if available. This same procedure must be followed every time the patient’s condition requires medication.
If the prescription medications or its medically acceptable replacement is not available in the local market, the medical facility prescribing the medication may request permission from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to import the medication from a pharmaceutical distributor.
If the prescription medication is used through injection, the clearance process should be completed on behalf of the patient by and under the supervision of a local medical institution. The cleared prescription medications should then be registered in the record of the medical institution for personal use in accordance with its medication management policy.
Should the quantity of the cleared medication exceed the medical need of the patient, unused medication must be disposed of in a proper manner.
With the exception of the conditions provided for under subsections (a), (b) and (c) of Sections (5) and (6), all other conditions shall similarly apply to those patients who are travelling outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
If the prescription drug is in the possession of someone other than the patient (spouse, parents, children, or siblings) a copy of that person’s identification must be submitted with the clearance application. However, if that person is not a relative he/she must submit a document showing patient’s consent or authorization for him/her to handle the patient’s medications along with a copy of his/her identification.