Americans who are planning a trip to Mexico always have a common query, ‘Can you order prescriptions from Mexico pharmacy online?’
It seems easier to purchase prescriptions online than to travel across the border for it. These medications are just a click away and therefore it can be tempting to order online and then wait for your parcel to arrive.
Rising costs and out-of-reach prescription prices have motivated people to consider the pros and cons of shopping for medications from other countries. But is it safe to order prescriptions from Mexican pharmacy online is debatable.
But the fact of the matter is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend buying prescriptions from other countries as regulations to manufacture drugs could be lenient or it could be a fake pharmacy. And it always pays to have a prescription before you order or your order could be seized.
Before going ahead with a purchase firstly confirm that the online pharmacy is genuine and is licensed in the country of origin. Before clicking the payment icon, make sure the pharmacy has a published address and phone number on the website.
It is advisable to order from online pharmacies that are headquartered in countries where strong pharmacy regulations are practised. Australia, Canada, Turkey, New Zealand, and few countries in Western Europe are known to have stringent regulations.
Be on your guard as it has been noticed that some scrupulous pharmacy sites display Canadian flags while in fact they aren’t actually operating out of Canada. Medicines from such websites are not trustworthy and could put your health at risk.
On the other hand patients could request doctors while they prescribe medicines, on therapeutic alternatives or lower-priced generic versions. It has been noticed that many common generic drugs that are available in US pharmacies are sometimes lower-priced than the same medication in Canada or Mexico.
Do your own research and scrutinize all your options. This will make a difference in how much you save. In some scenarios, buying drugs from abroad could be an economical choice. But other times there may not a compelling enough reason to seek drugs from foreign online marketplaces.
US Drug Scenario
Americans routinely evade federal laws to cross over into Mexico or tap online pharmacies across the border to buy prescription medications at a fraction of the price of what they would pay at home.
In some cases, it is more out of desperation. As it may be the only way to afford the much-needed medication to stay healthy or even alive. This is despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration that is echoed by the pharmaceutical industry, about the probable risk of contaminated / counterfeit products.
The reality is that millions of people get their medications via this route by which they are either saving a lot of money or they are able to source a drug they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford because of high prices. Some online firms allow the comparison of prescription drug prices between international and US pharmacies.
Reasons for Sourcing Medications
Despite the official prohibition, FDA guidelines allow federal agents to refrain from enforcing the law especially when the quantity and purpose are indicated as personal use, and the product as such does not present an unreasonable risk to the consumer.
People familiar with the practice say you generally can pass through customs without much hassle if you have no more than three months’ worth medication on you. This should be declared to customs agents along with a doctor’s prescription or provide a personal note attesting it is for personal use, along with the contact information for your physician.
Think twice before purchasing quantities larger than that because if the authorities suspect you have a commercial intent, you could land in legal tangles and the drugs could be confiscated.
This is especially noticed for folks with diabetes. The inability to pay for insulin can be a matter of life and death, which is why so many of them look at Canada or Mexico to meet their needs.
Most medicine delivery services offer free delivery and then there are extra benefits that include organizing and separating your medications that you need to consume each day. Every day’s pills are placed separately into a convenient single-serve pack, and the time you are supposed to have them is even printed on the front of the container.
This is a huge perk in case you have to take a lot of medications on a daily basis and instead have to spend time sorting them out, and also if you have difficulty remembering what time you are supposed to take your pills.
If you are a caretaker for someone else, this can also be a huge time saver. Another thing you can do is add supplements, like a multivitamin or probiotic, to your packs so everything you need to take is in one place.
In the worst-case scenario, an indifferent agent might confiscate the drugs but let you go scot-free. Ordering drugs online from foreign pharmacies also tends to go largely unchallenged though legally, the FDA possess the right to refuse the entry of a package at any international mail facility.
Be Ready For Contingencies
There are scrupulous rogue operators in the world of online pharmacies. Therefore you will need to do a little vetting. Before conducting business with an online pharmacy, confirm it is licensed in its country of origin and that the country has pharmacy regulations in place.
Countries with well-regulated pharmacies are advisable as a go-to destinations. Also, check to make sure the pharmacy posts an address and phone number on its website. A couple of websites do the vetting for you which can be used to narrow down your choice.
Even though experts believe importing drugs from overseas could be critical for many people, there is still a possibility of purchasing medications affordably in the US. Take time to compare with the US pharmacies because prices can vary significantly from pharmacy to pharmacy.
Santa Monica-based GoodRx tracks prescription drug prices with more than 60,000 pharmacies all across the US and offers coupons to better the deal.
Recent research shows that 85% of the most commonly prescribed generic drugs can be purchased at lower prices in the US than from pharmacies abroad.
Potential dangers of buying prescription drugs abroad
Buying prescription drugs from abroad can save you money, but there are risks that you need to be aware of. Drugs sold in other countries may not be governed by high standards as prescribed by regulatory agencies in the US that hold sway on both distributors and manufacturers.
This signifies that you end up with the wrong dosage or active ingredient, even if the medicine you purchase appears to be the one your doctor has prescribed. Then there is always the danger of being in the dark regarding a-drug-recall in case you have purchased your medicine at a foreign pharmacy.
We’ve had problems with our own regulated manufacturing process in the US, where drugs that had traces of carcinogens and were recalled.
Choose your online retailer carefully
Many sell medicines on the internet, so scour for a reliable online retailer, but it is not easy. Ask yourself when assessing an online retailer:
- Is the ownership of the website clear?
- Are other information, products and services offered?
- Has the website been updated regularly?
Look for these tell-tale signs to create suspicion:
- Promises of health and recovery that are too good to be true
- When there is a long list of illness and a single medicine to cure
- When the medicine is available only with one retailer for a limited period
Insist on information about the medicine
As a customer, you should be provided precise information on every medicine.
Information should include details:
- Name of the medicine
- Active substances
- Therapeutic indications
- When the medicine must not be used
- Possible side effects
- The manufacturer’s name and address
Only Buy Authorized Medicines
In some European countries, medicines must be authorized by the health authorities before it can be sold. Ask the retailer whether the medicine is authorized for sale.
What about the package leaflet?
The package leaflet includes important information about the medicine, e.g. effect and side effects, warnings, storage instructions, specific precautions that you should pay attention to etc.
When you buy a medicine manufactured outside Mexico, you should ensure that you receive a package leaflet in a familiar language.
Beware of name confusion
Medicines often have different names in different countries. Therefore, be sure that the packages contain the same even though the names may sound familiar.
If unsure ask an acquaintance who knows about medicines, ask the pharmacy, or try to compare the active substances of the medicine.
Avoid counterfeit medicines
Medicines can be counterfeited. While buying online you may not be aware of the retailer and if the retailer is subject to any type of regulatory control where it is located.
Will you receive compensation?
Medicines are supposed to prevent, relieve or cure illness. Yet it could cause harm in some cases. Hence compensation for personal damage can be helpful.
Are you purchasing illegally?
Be aware if there are rules restricting private individuals receiving these medicines dispatched from foreign countries, i.e. including medicines purchased online.
Bottom Line Mexican Pharmacy Online
There’s reason to believe that prescription medication from some Mexican pharmacies in towns close to the US border may actually be both affordable and safe.
Mexico does big business in pharmaceuticals, and has financial incentives in offering high-quality, authentic medications.
The pharmacies will have medication in the original packaging from the manufacturer, and there’s not a lot of room for error on the part of the pharmacist.
As long as you know exactly what medication you’re looking for and exactly where to find a legitimate pharmacy, buying prescription drugs in Mexico may not really save you much.