Americans often wonder whether it's legal to purchase their prescription drugs from a pharmacy in another country, usually Canada or Mexico, and bring them back to the United States.
Their reasoning is simple: There may be real benefits in purchasing drugs outside the United States. For example:
- The costs of brand-name drugs in many other countries may be substantially less than they are in the U.S.
- Some drugs are available in other countries but not in the U.S.
- Some drugs that require a prescription in the U.S. do not require a prescription in other countries, even Canada and Mexico.
However, there are laws that prohibit "personal importation;" that is, Americans purchasing drugs from Canadian, Mexican or other pharmacies and bringing them into the United States. Many Americans still choose to take the risks such a purchase may create.
Here is what you need to know about buying your prescription drugs from foreign countries.