Is it Legal to Buy Prescriptions from Canadian Online Pharmacies?

A report from 2019 shows that US citizens pay over three to four times more for prescription medications than citizens in other countries.

It’s not a huge shock that some Americans simply cannot afford their medications as a result. When it comes to life-threatening illnesses, people have to do whatever they can to get the medicine they need to survive. 

However, buying prescriptions online, especially from another country, can seem like a very shady practice. How can you be sure that you’re getting discount prescription medication that will actually do what it’s supposed to do? 

Keep reading as we explain whether Americans can legally use online pharmacies in Canada or not. 

Understanding the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987

This act was signed into law as a way to protect consumers from questionable drugs and make sure that prescribed drugs are effective. The government didn’t want people to buy drugs that were labeled as being cheaper only to find that they were counterfeit, dangerous, or expired.

However, as a result, many Americans found that they didn’t have many options for buying their medications. If it cost too much, they would simply have to go without, which could be very dangerous for many individuals. 

This legislation was necessary to create certain safeguards for people in the US. But, it made it more difficult for people to actually obtain all of the medications they needed at a fair price. 

So, Buying Drugs Outside of the Country Is Illegal? 

The Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987 technically makes it illegal for anyone other than the initial manufacturer to carry prescription medications into the US.

Federal officials, however, have decided that they will have enforcement “discretion” with this law. This is only as long as the drugs are not narcotics or other types of controlled substances.

The main reason for this is that the statute technically makes it clear that only drugs manufactured in the US would have to follow those guidelines.

Otherwise, drugs that are produced anywhere else in the world could be unavailable for people that live in the US. This could create a lot of problems for people with specialized conditions that wouldn’t have any medication options.

A person can bring back up to a three-month supply of prescribed medication from another country without getting much grief. 

Buying From Online Pharmacies in Canada: Yes or No?

It is illegal to buy medications from Canada on the surface. However, the FDA acknowledges that they will generally turn a blind eye if the prescription meets these requirements:

  • For a serious condition that does not have effective treatment in the US
  • Does not represent an unreasonable risk
  • Is not promoted to US residents
  • Is only intended to be used by the person importing it
  • Comes with contact information for doctor providing medication

If you’re in need of medications in the US, buying them from neighboring countries is an option. You can check out websites like PricePro Pharmacy to learn more about how this works. 

Get the Medications You Need Today

While you may not want to choose online pharmacies in Canada as your first choice for medication providers, they are an option in a pinch.

Due to loopholes in the legislation, you can buy certain medications with ease to save on costs. Be sure to choose a reputable pharmacy if you choose to buy online.

For other articles related to general health and happiness, check out the rest of our blog. 


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