Thread: us customs
08-19-2002, 01:49 AM #1New Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
question about us customs
what medication can you bring back legally across the border such as pain medication? I read the us customs web site they were not clear on what you can bring back. maybe you guys could refer me to some sites that give you a list or something thanks
also I have prescription bottles of my pain medication could i put it in that and still bring it back over?
Last edited by DouglasGettinHuge; 08-19-2002 at 02:19 AM.
08-19-2002, 02:39 AM #2
You can bring back up to a 90-day supply any prescription drug that is legal, [/i]providing you have a prescription for the drug[/i]. A copy of the prescription will do, whether from a U.S. or foreign physician, but it must be on an actual prescription form - a physician's letter, for example, will not suffice.
What can you not bring back? Anything that is blatantly illegal (such as weed), anything that is banned by the F.D.A. for import, and anything for which you do not have a prescription.
This is important when you consider drugs that require a prescription in the United States but do not require a prescription in the source country. For example, allergy drugs such as Claritin and Allegra are sold over the counter in Canada, as is cyanocobalimin (injectable Vitamin B12). However, all of them require a prescription in the U.S. Thus, if you bring them back across the border into the U.S., you must have a prescription with you, even though you did not need a prescription to purchase them. This also covers syringes and needles, which are also available over the counter in Canada, but which require a prescription in most states in the U.S.
These rules also cover drugs such as Tylenol #1 (Tylenol whichi includes 8 mg. codeine and 15 mg. caffeine), which is over the counter in Canada but not available in the U.S. at all. Also included is the aspirin-plus-codeine equivalent (also known as AC&C or "222's"). Both of these are probably the most common illegally smuggled drug, at least from Canada back to the U.S.
Why do the FDA and U.S. Customs focus on these rules more than usual these days? Because it has become popular, especially for senior citizens who do not have a prescription plan, to bring back from Canada and Mexico all types of drugs - heart medications, blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, etc. - since they are much more expensive in the U.S. In fact, several congresspersons have sponsored bus trips into Canada and Mexico for constituents to purchase 90-day prescription supplies - it's popular with the voters, and it makes a statement to the powers-that-be in Washington.
Finally, regarding the question of whether you can simply refill your existing bottles of pain medication and bring them back over, the answer is that it would be risky. Canadian and Mexican packaging - right down to the size, shape, and color of the pills - is different than drugs from U.S. manufacturers. Therefore, a hip Customs agent could recognize that the product in the bottle is not the product that was originally in that bottle. Even then, if they want to play it by the book, both Canadian/Mexican and U.S. authorities could demand to see a prescription (or copy) for the drugs you started out with. Remember that all "scheduled" medications (whether pain meds or anabolics) will be given greater scrutiny than heart/BP/cholesterol meds.
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