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#1
Old 10-27-2015, 02:11 PM
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Foreign e-pharmacies legal or not?

I was just checking out some foreign epharmacies-- Canadian Pharmacy (which appears to operate out of India), International drugmart, etc.

All offer prescription drugs, including narcotics, without prescription and the prices are very reasonable (cheaper than my insurance). Is it legal to order medications from these sites? Is it safe? Is there any regulation?

I googled the answers to my above questions and found conflicting information, so what is the straight dope?
#2
Old 10-27-2015, 02:57 PM
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According to WedMD, the reason you're getting conflicting information is because, while it's illegal, really no one is being prosecuted for it.

My mom bought her Effexor from Canada Drugs for years. They required a faxed script from her doctor. They also didn't carry scheduled drugs.
#3
Old 10-27-2015, 03:04 PM
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It is illegal, but weakly enforced. See here.

As for safety, drugs from Canada are pretty much exactly the same as equivalent drugs in the US.
#4
Old 10-27-2015, 03:25 PM
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IANAL - however, please be aware that if you possess controlled substances that were not obtained through legal channels, you could be prosecuted, even if you have a valid prescription.

Having a prescription in your pocket doesn't make it legal to buy Oxy from the guy on the corner, nor does it protect you from illegal offshore purchases.
#5
Old 10-27-2015, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
IANAL - however, please be aware that if you possess controlled substances that were not obtained through legal channels, you could be prosecuted, even if you have a valid prescription.

Having a prescription in your pocket doesn't make it legal to buy Oxy from the guy on the corner, nor does it protect you from illegal offshore purchases.
It's also illegal to carry your medication outside of its labeled bottle. Like putting a few in a baggie and leaving the bottle at home.
#6
Old 10-27-2015, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
Having a prescription in your pocket doesn't make it legal to buy Oxy from the guy on the corner, nor does it protect you from illegal offshore purchases.
...but he said he was a pharmacist...
#7
Old 10-27-2015, 11:22 PM
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Yes, itís illegal for the most part. The FDA makes limited exceptions for experimental drugs that are purchased from offshore sources and administered under clinical supervision. But other than that, itís basically verboten to have any prescription drug shipped into the United States. It doesnít have to be a scheduled controlled substance; I recently got spanked for buying an antihypertensive from India. What will happen is this: it will get intercepted by US Customs, and you will get what is affectionately known as an ĎLLí (love letter) by the FDA. The package will then be destroyed or sent back to the vendor. If youíre dealing with a reputable vendor (and there are quite a few out there), all you have to do is e-mail them and they will reship. As for how to identify reputable vendors, stay away from the ones who sell opiates and benzos. Theyíre invariably at least somewhat shady. Usually very shady. Best way to find more information (as I may have already skirted the rules here a bit and canít say any more) is to register an account on Pharmacy Reviewer and start slogging through the threads there. There is more information there than you could digest in a year of full-time reading. All reliable vendors of opiates and benzos are gone now. But if you want birth control, antibiotics, your tummy meds, or whatever, there are ways to get them very safely and reliably. Best bet is to go with ones in Japan or England: Nippon Pharmacy, Mimaki Family Pharmacy, AllDayChemist, or Quality Health, Inc. They all provide top-notch, quality selection and service. None of them are scam outfits.
#8
Old 10-28-2015, 02:33 AM
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I see in the Canadian news a fellow who was doing 4 years for selling counterfeit drugs was being release on parole in Canada. At one time, he operated probably the biggest mail order pharmacy in Canada. He was arrested in Florida when he accepted a shipment of pills from India(?) that turned out to be counterfeit. Some rumors suggested he'd been set up by the US authorities to put him out of business. At worst, he was willfully blind to a too-good-to-be-true deal.

A pharmacy in Canada can only issue based on a prescription from a Canadian doctor. The doctor must have examined you, several doctors cooperating with mail order pharmacies have been disciplined - a phone call or signing off on a fax is not a real consult. Again, or legit pharmacies deal with real medications whose only difference is price, as the main buyers - provincial health plans - negotiate aggressively. (unlike some country where that is apparently illegal). Those knowingly or generally dealing in fakes will get caught very quickly.

Of course, a "Canadian" pharmacy in India is just trying to play on the value of the Canada name.

Last edited by md2000; 10-28-2015 at 02:34 AM.
#9
Old 10-28-2015, 03:34 PM
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My HMO is going to double the co-pay for QVAR (inhaled) from $45/month to $95! So I might be re-reading this thread very very carefully in the next few months.

Before I go digging around on-line, does anybody here have any specific knowledge or experience with buying QVAR like this?
#10
Old 10-28-2015, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
My HMO is going to double the co-pay for QVAR (inhaled) from $45/month to $95! So I might be re-reading this thread very very carefully in the next few months.

Before I go digging around on-line, does anybody here have any specific knowledge or experience with buying QVAR like this?
Since it was already established upthread that this is not legal (even though this is apparently weakly enforced) let's not have any how-to posts or sharing of personal experiences, as that pushes beyond the boundaries of what is allowed on the SDMB.

If you can recommend a way of doing this legally, then that's acceptable in this thread.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 10-28-2015 at 04:26 PM.
#11
Old 10-28-2015, 10:10 PM
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Thank you all for the replies. I'm a little irked that the government /laws will not allow me to legally procure my medications in the least expensive way possible.

For whatever reason(s) that they prohibit me from saving money on pharmaceuticals, I think it sucks and should be my decision. I am not a criminal or an addict, just want to save as much money as possible on prescriptions.

I recently read about "bus tours" to Canada that Senior Americans are boarding, not to see Canada but to get medications that they can afford. Apparently that is illegal and if caught, they could face fines and prison. That is shameful IMO.
#12
Old 10-28-2015, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Thank you all for the replies. I'm a little irked that the government /laws will not allow me to legally procure my medications in the least expensive way possible.

For whatever reason(s) that they prohibit me from saving money on pharmaceuticals, I think it sucks and should be my decision. I am not a criminal or an addict, just want to save as much money as possible on prescriptions.

I recently read about "bus tours" to Canada that Senior Americans are boarding, not to see Canada but to get medications that they can afford. Apparently that is illegal and if caught, they could face fines and prison. That is shameful IMO.
Someone correct me if I am wrong (and I'm sure you will) but didn't Obama have to cave in to the drug companies on this as well as agreeing not to bargain on prices to gain the cooperation or at least the non-interference of big pharma? I know Bush did this as far as part D of medicare, although I doubt he required pressure from the drug companies.
#13
Old 10-29-2015, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Thank you all for the replies. I'm a little irked that the government /laws will not allow me to legally procure my medications in the least expensive way possible.

< . . . >

I recently read about "bus tours" to Canada that Senior Americans are boarding, not to see Canada but to get medications that they can afford. Apparently that is illegal and if caught, they could face fines and prison. That is shameful IMO.
The Government is not necessarily your friend.
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