Thursday, July 17, 2008

Overseas Pharmacies

If you look around on the internet, you will find that online pharmacies are becoming more and more popular. There are many U.S based pharmacies online that will allow you to order non-narcotic prescription drugs by simply filling out an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a doctor and once it is approved, you can order prescriptions such as Lorcet, Viagra, Tramadol, etc. and it is 100% legal!

One question you see posted on many pharmacy forums is regarding the order and shipment of narcotic based prescriptions drugs such as Vicoden, Hydrocodone, Codeine, etc. and weather it is legal to get these drugs imported from overseas pharmacies. There are many conflicting answers regarding this topic. The basic answer is that it is legal to order these medications from overseas pharmacies as long as the medication is for personal use, not for resale, is not an illegal drug such as marijuana, LSD, etc., and does not exceed a 90 day supply. If you do a search on Google for "Personal Prescription Drug Import Fairness Act" you will find more information regarding the legality of the issue. To my knowledge, no one has ever gotten in trouble for ordering a 90 day supply of medication for personal use.

What about customs? Can they reject shipments for medications from overseas pharmacies?

- Customs reserves the right to reject any inbound shipment into the United States. This does not mean that this attempted importation is a crime unless the drug is illegal to process (LSD, Ecstasy, etc). Customs only has 2 options regarding imports of drugs from overseas pharmacies and that is to either let them pass through or refuse to pass them through. Well over 250,000 pieces of mail come through US customs every day so it is very hard for them to examine every one of them. I would guess that less than 5% of that total are actually inspected. If your medication is randomly examined, it may be seized by customs but is contestable as long as the medication does not exceed a 90 day supply. This type of seizure is not a crime and as just mentioned, can be contested with the customs clerk.

One little piece of advice that I have is to stay away from those "Fly By Night" overseas pharmacies. Many of these will take your money and not deliver. Most legitimate overseas pharmacies are not allowed to advertise their products outside their country and do not show up in any search engines. If you do find that some are advertising and listing their services, chances are that they are a scam.

How do I locate these overseas pharmacies if they are not allowed to advertise?

- There are many services you can find on the web that keep a database of reliable overseas pharmacies. The database is created by companies that make contact with these overseas pharmacies and is also based on previous customer experiences. One Many also have a list of blacklisted pharmacies that you should stay away from. Another good thing about these overseas pharmacies is that they can provide you with your prescription medication at a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the USA. This is because the pharmaceutical companies base their prices on the average income of that country. If those countries had to pay what we pay in the USA, they could end up spending an entire months salary on one prescription. The pharmaceutical companies make up for this loss by price gouging on prescriptions in the more wealthy countries.

Note: The information in this article is not legal advice! For legal advice, please consult an attorney. In no way to do encourage illegal import or illegal use of prescription drugs. All medication imported should be for personal use only and should not exceed a 90 day supply.

Mike enjoys building websites, domain investing and programming. If you like this article, check out his websites for other great information.