Update: FDA Drops Demand Travelers Give Meds to TSA After Grabien Report

‘Passengers should inform officers of medications and separate them from other belongings before screening begins’

This story is cross-posted at our consumer site, Grabien News. Watch it there – without audiomarks.

Exactly two weeks ago Grabien reported on a brand-new FDA advisory that warned travelers how to handle their pharmaceutical drugs while interacting with the Transportation Security Administration. Contrary to long-standing practice, the advisory said travelers must separate out all of their pharmaceutical drugs and bring them to the attention of the TSA.

The story spread quickly after The Drudge Report prominently highlighted Grabien's report. The post generated more than 1,100 comments, most from frustrated travelers.

Tuesday, the FDA deleted its advisory, replacing the original post with a version that redacts the instructions for travelers to hand over their medicine to the TSA.

Seeking clarification about the apparent policy change, Grabien has asked the FDA for comment and will update this report upon hearing back.

Please see our "before and after" video which documents how the FDA modified its original advisory.

This is what viewers will now see when trying to access the FDA's original advisory:

Frustrated travelers vented after Grabien's original post. The comment yielding the most "likes" -- almost 1,000 -- simply said:


Our original Aug. 27th report is below:

In a new video alert the FDA just posted titled "Traveling with Prescription Medications," Lindsay Davison, a health promotion officer at the FDA, warns travelers about traveling with pharmaceutical medication. Travelers are advised to notify TSA officers of any prescriptions they possess and produce said medications before the screening begins. 

"Passengers should inform [TSA] officers of medications and separate them from other belongings before screening begins," Davison says. 

Excerpt below:

DAVISON: “DEA enforces regulations for controlled substances in schedules 2 through 5 in the code of federal regulations. This is also available on their website. DEA provides contact information to local field offices online.”
KREMZNER: “What about the Transportation Security Administration?”
DAVISON: “Great point. The TSA posts information for travelers who need medication on their website. Passengers are allowed to bring medication in tablet or other solid form through security screening checkpoints, as long as they are screened. Passengers should inform officers of medications and separate them from other belongings before screening begins. Medication is usually screened by x-ray; however, if a passenger does not want a medication x-rayed, they may ask for an inspection instead. Questions related to carrying prescription medications in luggage versus carry-on baggage, should also be directed to TSA.”

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