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Buying Rx drugs in Canada; bringing them back to the US

Buying Rx drugs in Canada; bringing them back to the US

Jun 6th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,711
Buying Rx drugs in Canada; bringing them back to the US

I've posted this in the lounge but I thought I would try my luck in this forum too.

Hello all. As some of you know I have a lung infection, this is my second in less than a year. I am starting new drug therapy and it involves a drug that would cost me over $4,000 for the 4 month supply I need. My insurance company is reviewing this situation and if they agree to pay then it will cost me just my usual co-pay of $40/month. I am leaning toward the belief they will pay but just in case I'm drafting a Plan B and a Plan C.

I've looked into on-line pharmacies in Canada and the drug would cost me $150 a month which is fine. The problem with that is they can not Fed Ex it to me so it could take as long as 3 weeks to get my meds. I do not want to put it off for 3 weeks so here are my alternate plans:

Plan B: Middle sis lives in upstate NY and she's willing to drive to Canada and get it for me, then Fed Ex it to me after returning to the US. BUT, will the Canadian pharmacy allow her to pick up drugs for me and will she have any trouble getting it back into the US?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then here is Plan C.

I will fly to Buffalo and enter Canada by land. Is there a limit to how much I can bring back? Of course I want to get my entire supply at once, but even 2 trips to Canada will be less expensive than $4,000.

If you can answer these questions I will be most grateful. And friends please, let's not turn my thread into a debate about our health care system. I ask you this as kindly as possible, let's save it for another thread.

Thank you in advance.
P_M is online now  
Jun 6th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,490
Its against the US laws to bring in any drugs... check www.cbp.gov... if you smuggle them, there can be serious consequences... they have now installed gamma screener machines at the border stations that "see" hidden items in the car... this has dramatically increased seizures of smuggled items and contraband... they also have been trained to detect tension in the answers given by drivers and passengers and often pull those who look uncomfortable over for secondary inspection...

It might cost way more than $4000 if you get caught... but I say go for it... makes for an interesting cliffhanger in future posts...
garyt22 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Yikes, scary.

On my other thread someone suggested getting a small amount here in the US then ordering on line from a Canadian pharmacy. That idea sounds even better now.
P_M is online now  
Jun 6th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 959
It sounded absurd that it would be smuggling if they're drugs you obtained with a legitimate prescription and they're for your personal use, but I found this page on the CBP site:


Wow, talk about scare mongering! Take a look at the FDA warning "poster" they have at the bottom. I suspect the policy is more about protecting the pharmaceutical companies (and their profits) who've lobbied the government to implement these regulations than it is about protecting the person buying the prescriptions.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2010, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 103
that clearly refers to unapproved drugs. The OP is talking about approved drugs, just ones that are cheaper in Canada. I live in a border area and until recently bus loads of Americans arrived for the day to get their prescriptions and head back all in one day so I can't see an issue at the border. The issue is one in Canada where in our province you have to have a prescription from a Canadian physician. Somehow the internet companies have found a way to circumvent this I believe.
geosand is offline  
Jun 7th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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I didn't think the news would come so fast but I just learned my approval came through. I can buy this at my local pharmacy at the usual co-pay. This is a huge relief. YAY!!

Thanks to all who replied with such good info.
P_M is online now  
Jun 7th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Great news PM. I'm so glad you got the approval.
On the down side, you would have been close enough in Buffalo to have a mini gtg. I could have shown you around.
Good luck with your treatment.
kodi is offline  
Jun 7th, 2010, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 959

Actually that page clearly refers to both approved and unapproved drugs. Quoting from said page the section which refers to approved drugs:

"Moreover, in those instances where a United States manufacturer makes an FDA-approved prescription drug and sends it abroad, the Act also prohibits any person other than the original manufacturer from importing the drug back into the United States. Thus, in virtually all instances, individual citizens are prohibited from importing prescription drugs into the United States."
ShelliDawn is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 03:27 AM
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Kodi, well now you tell me you live there!! I'm going to call back and ask them to un-approve it so I can come up for a visit.
P_M is online now  
Jun 8th, 2010, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
That sounds like a plan P-M
I live about an hour from
Buffalo in Canada. I'd
be honoured to meet the owner of a snotball
mean someone who used to own a snotball

Anyway for sure any time you are up this way let me know
kodi is offline  
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