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Old 07-18-2011, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hattusas
Posts: 689
Shipping prescription medication overseas-- OK?

I'm currently overseas, and I am in danger of running out of some of the routine prescription medications that I use. Would there be anything potentially wrong or illegal in having my prescriptions issued by my normal US doctor and refilled in the US, then having them shipped to me?
Old 07-18-2011, 04:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: New London, CT
Posts: 3,753
I kind of doubt that there's a general rule for this that applies to all possible medications and all possible countries. More info is probably going to be needed to give anything resembling a definitive answer.
Old 07-18-2011, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Conyers, GA, USA
Posts: 1,351
As long as it isn't a controlled medication, and is your personal medication, and it is filled with a legit prescription at a legit pharmacy, I don't see why it would be a problem. It would not violate any laws of the United States, but I can't speak for any other country. But, I doubt any country would bother you as long as it isn't controlled in that country.
Old 07-18-2011, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 12,068
At least if you are in a first world country, it will probably be both easier and cheaper to obtain a letter from your US doctor listing your medications, and then to have them prescribed and supplied by a doctor and a pharmacy in the country where you are staying.

I recently moved from the USA to Britain, and this is what I did (except that I obtained the relevant letter before I left the USA). I had no problems with the doctor or pharmacist. Admittedly I have the advantage of being a British citizen (although I lived in the USA for 20 years), and thus eligible for the NHS, but I think you will find that most country's health care systems are willing to provide foreigners with services and medicines for a cost lower (often much lower) than what you would pay in America.

I would worry, however, about trying to import medicines for yourself. It may not actually be illegal, but I would anticipate difficulties and delays with getting it cleared through customs.

Last edited by njtt; 07-18-2011 at 07:34 PM.
Old 07-19-2011, 09:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 3,226
Well, I can tell you from experience that China sure doesn't like it (if you're honest on the customs slip). I FedeExed them to my husband and it took about six weeks for them to release the package.

He ended up having his travel medicine doc in the US call the local expat hospital in Shanghai and they filled the prescriptions there.
Old 07-20-2011, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 1,516
You didn't mention which country you are in, but if Australia, you will need to seek out a local GP to issue you a prescription. If customs finds a prescription only medication coming in through the mail it will be confiscated and you will be asked some hard questions.

If you were able to produce a copy of the prescription and a customs official was able to satisfy themselves as to the legitimacy of your doctor and the script issued, I suspect you would then be allowed to keep your medicine.
Old 07-20-2011, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 14,101
Much easier to get a local doctor to write you a prescription then having it shipped. And for fuure reference, get more than what you need when going abroad, if you take three pills a day and are going abroad for 15 days, get a hundred pills; and most chemist/pharama shops are happy to do so
Old 07-20-2011, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 12,946
If you're in a third world country, you may find, a prescription isn't all that necessary. You may simply need to find a supplier. Your chosen drug is likely available under another name, have your home doctor do the research for you. Consulting a local doctor would be step one, for me.

Do let us know what you work out.
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