How do I get my meds from Canada to the US?
October 3, 2018 11:09 PM   Subscribe

I live in Canada. (I don’t think it matters, but I am an American citizen with permanent residency in Canada.) I have medication I need to take daily. I am in the States for a family emergency for an indeterminate period of time. How can I get my medication to me?

Back in Canada, I have a one month supply of medication. With me now, I have a little less than two weeks’ worth. Buying it here is incredibly expensive and not an option.

My partner is still at home in Canada and could FedEx me the meds. We were thinking to FedEx a week’s worth to me in the States and take it from there. As in, if it works great. We can do it again if need be. If it doesn’t, well, we’re only out a week’s worth of meds; we can regroup and go to Plan B.

I understand FedEx is expensive, but it’s sure as hell cheaper than me flying back or my partner flying to the States.

-If you’ve done this, has it worked?
-How did you fill out the paperwork for the shipment?
-Did you include a doctor’s note?
-Did you indicate this on the outside?

These aren’t meds with any street value. It’s for a chronic condition.

Bonus question: If you are an American citizen with permanent residence in Canada but your PR card has lapsed, have you had success flying on a one-way ticket back to Canada? Which airline did you fly? (I do not have time to get a PR travel document while in the States. I have my expired PR card as well a copy of my renewal application and receipt. Canada will not expedite my renewal application.)

Thank you for your help in making a difficult time a little easier.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
Under normal circumstances this is illegal and disallowed by every major carrier. To do this legally, find a courier service and follow the procedure here:
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:00 AM on October 4, 2018

I'd get a copy of the prescription from your doctor or have the doctor fax/email it to a walk-in clinic near you. The doc at the walk-in should be perfectly willing to prescribe for you.

Not legal or not, people do this all the time if you want to FedEx them. Declare them as vitamins or put them in a Pez dispenser.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:11 AM on October 4, 2018

Just a note that the poster said: Buying it here is incredibly expensive and not an option.
posted by lazuli at 6:14 AM on October 4, 2018

How close is your partner to the border? Can someone drive across the border and courier or mail them within the USA? That would avoid any risk of customs inspections.
posted by dttocs at 7:52 AM on October 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I did this in reverse (US to Canada). I asked the pharmacist to include a photocopy of the rx. I also emailed a pdf of my passport to the pharmacist, and she printed that and included it with the meds. I don't recall, but I may have also had my doc email the pharmacist a letter confirming that these meds were for my personal use and that I am an American citizen. It was sent through USPS very quickly, but sat with customs for at least a week. It did arrive where I was staying in Canada with a customs stamp and no issues. My understanding is that this was a pretty quick turnaround. And yes, my pharmacist and doctor are AWESOME.
posted by tllaya at 9:40 AM on October 4, 2018

I had to do this exact thing for a friend. I crossed the border into the States and mailed it from there.
posted by miles1972 at 10:02 AM on October 4, 2018

I am a pharmacist in Canada. I've done this several time over the years. Contact your pharmacy in Canada. Get them to fill out the amount of medication you need for your stay (overestimate). If necessary, get them to contact you physician for a new prescription and explain the reason why. Have them ship the medication to you and pay using a credit card.

I've never run into an issue. When I ship, I declare the medications as prescriptions with everything properly labelled with patient's name and the pharmacy name.

This is not an unusual situation in my experience.
posted by drug_dealer73 at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

« Older Where can my wife get frames of this shape?   |   What to do with Wild Violet Oil? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments