Is it Legal to Purchase Drugs Overseas?

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Is it Legal to Purchase Medications Overseas?

We are not attorneys and make no legal representations, but consider this:

The FDA refuses not only to allow wholesale importation, the FDA also maintains that personal importation is illegal. Yet, because the market for lower-cost drugs is so large, the FDA looks the other way when people import personal-use quantities of prescription drugs. That's right:

The FDA today allows folks to carry drugs over the border, and apparently now even allows [them] to mail order drugs from abroad.

Yet all the while, the FDA publicly maintains such importation is illegal, thus threatening importers with dire legal consequences.1

This is wrong. The FDA can't have it both ways. Either personal use importation is illegal, or it's not. In the year 2003, by a vote of 324 to 101, the House passed language explicitly allowing individual Americans to import lower-cost FDA-approved drugs from FDA-approved facilities. This is common sense, and it is the FDA's current policy.1

The FDA should not stand between American consumers and lower drug prices. The Gutknecht Amendment (H.R. 5186) prohibits the FDA from blocking importation by individuals and pharmacies of FDA-approved prescription drugs from FDA-approved facilities.2


1 (This website is highly recommended reading to fully understand the scope of politics relating to drugs, nutrition and lack thereof in the United States and other developed countries - PRX)

2 Drug Importation Act of 2002 (Introduced in House), HR 5186 IH 107th Congress, 2d Session H. R. 5186, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the importation of prescription drugs. In the House of Representative, July 23, 2002.

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