More US Law and Overseas Online Pharmacies

Here’s a few more legalities in regards to online pharmacies to chew on – and it’s not all bad news:

Federal law specifies that enforcement should be focused on specific cases where the importation by an individual poses a significant threat to public health, and discretion is to be exercised to permit individuals to make such importations in those circumstances in which the prescription drug or device imported doesn’t appear to present an unreasonable risk to the individual.

According to Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, Section 535, Customs and Border Patrol are not allowed to prevent people from importing FDA-approved prescription drugs. This does not include controlled substances, which is why Customs is able to screen and intercept drugs sent by mail.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds “legal wise” as more and more medical marijuana medications and cannabis edibles become available. This is particularly true when the a critical mass of states bordering Canada and Mexico legalize marijuana or permit medical cannabis. Hopefully by that time, the federal laws surrounding possession of marijuana as well as its classification will have changed. A decade ago it would be inconceivable that online pharmacies would be dispensing with medical marijuana. Perhaps in a decade from now that will be a reality.

Though it ‘s technically illegal to import “non-approved” drugs (21 USC sections 331(d) and 355(a)); the FDA policies suggest that, under certain circumstances, the patients may be allowed to keep these drugs.

Know that individual U.S. states may implement their own laws regulating importation, possession, and trafficking in prescription drugs and/or controlled substances – so it’s not just a federally-regulated issue. That’s why certain states, like Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin have all run official state programs to help residents in those states order lower-cost drugs from abroad for the express reason of saving money.

Keep in mind that many online pharmacies across the world send consumers free replacement orders in the event their order isn’t received for any reason (which can include customs seizure – in many of these cases, though, the online company may require documented proof of the seizure in order to discourage fraudulent claims). When considering an order, a prospective customer should read the rules regarding reships on the pharmacy’s website.

Changes in laws are coming to address the growing new field of medical tourism, where patients travel to locations where medical treatments are equal in quality but significantly lower in price. Many of these patients are internet savvy, and almost always make online purchases of medications because it is convenient.

Be very wary when dealing with overseas online pharmacies but if used properly they can be a great tool that you can use to save yourself time and money.

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