There are times when the necessary drug is not available in your country, or it is simply not enough. Then people decide to order medicine from abroad.
We will look into this article about getting drugs from a Canadian pharmacy without breaking the law. Why and how to buy medicines in another country, even with closed borders.
When the drug is not registered in your country
Registration of medicines is a state examination confirming the effectiveness and safety of a medicine. It is necessary to bring the drug to the pharmaceutical market and is regulated by Law “On the circulation of medicines.” By the law, the following are subject to registration:
- New drugs;
- New combinations of previously registered drugs;
- Medicines registered in different dosage forms: tablets, solutions, and powders.
Drugs that have not been registered are prescribed only by the decision of the medical commission or council. They can only be delivered to individuals with the permission of the Ministry of Health. Such consent can be obtained if the drug is vital for the patient and there are no analogs on the market.
There are also permits for off-label drugs when a registered drug is not used according to the instructions and permission for emergency use in particular situations.
Buying Medicines Abroad: Action Plan
We will analyze the steps to determine if you need a permit to import medicine, what documents are required and how to buy a drug within closed borders.
STEP 1: We study information about the drug
This information is needed so that the medicine can be safely bought abroad and delivered to your country. All questions should be answered by the physician who prescribed the drug. You should know:
- Recipe: If a drug is sold without a prescription, you should make sure that the drug is also dispensed abroad without it. There is an option to find out in advance, for example, by writing a letter to a specific foreign pharmacy, or just in case, you can ask your doctor to issue a prescription form for a medicine. Your country prescriptions abroad must be accepted: the patient’s first and last name and the drug’s trade name in Latin letters should be written.
- Dosage: Make sure that the prescription indicates the dosage and duration of the course of taking the drug. This will prove to the customs officers that you are transporting medicines for yourself, not for sale.
- Conditions of Carriage: You should find out if the drug has special storage conditions. So, tablets can be delivered at almost any temperature and humidity, but there are restrictions for ampoules, creams, and ointments. It is better to know in advance.
- Composition: There are several drugs with restrictions on circulation and import into your country. The composition of these drugs includes narcotic, psychotropic, potent, and poisonous substances. They can be found in prescription drugs and regular dietary supplements. Therefore, before buying, you should carefully study the composition of the drug and make sure that there is nothing prohibited in it.
If the medicine does not contain prohibited substances and does not require a prescription abroad, we proceed directly to the third step.
STEP 2: We collect documents
You will need the following documents to purchase a prescription or generic drug.
- Medicine prescription: Here, the doctor indicates the drug’s trade name, the desired dosage, and the duration of the course of administration.
- Extract from the medical history: This is additional evidence that the patient needs the medicine for personal use.
These documents must be with you during the entire journey if you deliver medicines abroad. All documents must be in the country’s language in which the drug is planned to be purchased.
Transfers may not be needed in a pharmacy or at customs, but it is better to have them with you for reinsurance. You must also obtain permission from the Federal Ministry of Health for unregistered drugs. This survey is administered by the hospital where you are treated. The hospital can be either public or private.
STEP 3: We buy medicine
If you want to buy the drug abroad, it is best to do it yourself. In this case, you must not hide the medicine in your luggage and fill out the customs declaration correctly. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in a fine.
If it becomes known that the medicine being transported is not registered in your country, the fine could be hefty. And if this medicine has high costs and Customs considers that the patient is taking it for sale, they can initiate a criminal case, imprison and fine several million.
A criminal case for smuggling is initiated against those who, without a declaration, try to import drugs with a psychotropic, narcotic, or potent effect. Going for the drug on your own is not always possible. The patient may be prevented by closed borders, the absence of a visa, or a state of health. In this case, the possible way to do that is using an online drugstore (Internet pharmacy).
If the medicine does not need a declaration, you can use it if it is registered in your country and does not contain prohibited substances. If an order is not required, but special storage conditions for the drug are necessary, find out if the pharmacy has cold delivery. And don’t forget to check if the selected online pharmacy delivers to your location.
Not all online pharmacies are legal. According to the World Health Organization, most countries in the European Union allow the sale of over-the-counter drugs. But prescription drugs can be found online far from everywhere using Canada Drug Direct. You can legally buy prescription drugs from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia, etc.