Artilce by Borderhealth.org

Due to the insulin crisis in the United States and the increased cost of medications in local U.S. drugstores, thousands of Americans travel to the neighboring country Canada where the price cuts are more preferable. For instance, a single insulin bottle costs no more than $40 in Canada (compared to $400 per bottle in the United States).

However, the legal obligation for buying insulin abroad for U.S. citizens is a personal prescription. That is why many Americans who use the services of Canadian online drugstores ask if they can send or transfer their U.S. legal RXs to Canada. All legal online drugstores in Canada accept the U.S. prescriptions.

Can U.S. Doctors and Drugstores Send or/and Transfer Prescriptions to Canada

The policy of Canadian online drugstores about U.S. prescriptions

Almost all provinces in Canada demand from the local drugstores to distribute the drugs and supplements, according to a legal RX (prescription) assigned by a healthcare provider from Canada. However, US-originated RXs obtained by a drugstore from Canada ought to be confirmed by a local health organization or Canadian therapists. Only these specialists may assign a Canadian RX but before it is filled in, i.e. a blank form. Such an approach is called as co-signing.

The co-signing policy is basically a supplementary overview of the person’s medical card by a legal healthcare providers to define the appropriateness of the advised therapy. Obviously, an ill person or medic from the United States just needs to transfer an RX. There is no need to have worries about getting in touch with a Canadian healthcare provider. The legal online drugstore will be able to process the prescription’s transfer from this stage.

How to transfer U.S. RXs from U.S. drugstores to Canadian drugstores?

Commonly, U.S. drugstores just won’t transmit an RX to a Canadian local drugstores. In a case a person needs to purchase a drug from an offline drugstore located in Canada, he or she has to prepare a U.S. prescription (obtained from a U.S. drugstore). With such a prescription, a person may request a brand new RX from a healthcare provider in Canada.

What is quite interesting — Canadian drugstores are commonly not allowed to use any RX transfers received from U.S. drugstores. All RXs received from the United States must be confirmed and approved by Canadian physicians (before being filled in). The offline or online drugstore needs to get a person’s medical history records along with the authentic RX obtained from the United States. It means that a person who wants to transfer his/her U.S. prescription must send its copy by email or fax to Canadian pharmacy or physician. Then wait for its approval, send a medical history card and an original RX (with the signature of a U.S. legal pharmacists or physician).

The co-signing policyThe co-signing policy of U.S. prescriptions supported by Canadian healthcare specialists

Canadian drugstores are commonly not obliged to obtain RX transmits from U.S. drugstores. Moreover, a legal drugstore may cooperate straightforward with your physician to support the prescription of the RX and/or process monthly supplies of medications when required.

Taking into account different legal requirements within the U.S. — nevertheless U.S. drugstores are obliged to transmit RXs, featuring monthly supplies of medications, for non-regulated drugs under different conditions — transmitting RXs to overseas drugstores may not be obliged. At last, despite the fact many American states haven’t fully prohibited transmitting U.S. RXs to non-U.S. drugstores, pharmacists may be reluctant to do this due to the fact that in most cases it stays practically besides the legal boundaries (under U.S. federal jurisdiction) to transfer medications for the individual administration.

Frequently asked questions about the transmit of U.S. prescriptions to Canada

  1. How to transmit a prescription copy from the United States to Canada?

Most Canadian online drugstores offer no less than 3 easy, fast and handy ways for processing and transmitting — via an online chat, via a phone conversation, by mail/email or by fax. Make sure to call your online drugstore in Canada and ask about the supported methods of transmit from the United States to this neighboring country.

  1. What documents are required to transmit an RX from the United States to any Canadian online drugstore? 

Only a legal signed prescription is required for the approval of your U.S. RX in Canadian online pharmacies. However, make sure to check the rules of a certain drugstore before sending any copies.

  1. What does it take to fill out a recipe in the United States?

You need to go to your regular PCP (primary care physician) or other specialist, depending on what is bothering you, and get a prescription. Your doctor may give you a paper copy of the prescription, which you will need to show at the pharmacy. A U.S. physician may call the pharmacy and give them information about the prescription by phone, so be prepared that you do not have to wait long when you arrive at the pharmacy to get your medicines. The doctor can send an electronic prescription to the pharmacy of your choice, so when you come to pick up the order, he will be ready and you will not have to wait long.

  1. How to pay for a prescription form in the United States?

Patients usually have insurance to pay for the prescription. It is very important that you provide the pharmacy with the correct card. It usually says “RX”. Patients often confuse a medical record with a prescription card.

depending on the cost of the medicineMost insurance will be partially paid. This means that insurance will cover most of the costs of drugs, and you will have to pay a small percentage of the total cost. For example, if you have private insurance, such as Aetna, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oxford, Medco, Innoviant and the like, your partial payment can range from five to one hundred dollars, depending on the cost of the medicine.

If you have government insurance such as Medicaid, Health First, Health Plus, Metro-Plus, Fidelis, then your payments will usually be $1–3. If you do not have insurance, the drugs will be very expensive. You can ask a specialist in a pharmacy or the person who helps you with medicines to give you a “discount”.

  1. Can you buy medicine in the United States without a RX?

In some European countries, you can buy prescription drugs with an assistance of a local doctor, but in the United States and Canada, serious medications are sold only by prescription from a local healthcare provider. In the USA, a close electronic connection has been established between pharmacies and medical facilities, which cannot be deceived. Prescribing a certain drug, the doctor informs the pharmacy choice by a patient. Then pharmacists procure the ordered drug for the person, strictly taking into account the dosage of the doctor and put it in a separate cup indicating the period of use. Only in this way can you legally buy prescription drugs in the United States.

There are also categories of medicines that do not require any prescription in the United States. Although, they are available for a public sale, it is rather difficult to buy them. The reason for this is an elementary ignorance of the indications of the drug.

As in other countries, all medicines in the United States can be divided into 2 categories:

  • The drugs that can be purchased without a prescription;
  • The drugs that are dispensed only as directed by a specialist.

The first category contains a small list of medicines, most of which are vitamins, supplements and antihistamines. The most serious drugs that are dispensed in a pharmacy without a prescription are painkillers and antipyretics. The second group of medications includes all controlled medications, including the life-saving pills, such as drugs to stabilize blood pressure, antibiotics, asthma medications, etc. To buy some drugs, you do not have to visit a doctor, although it is highly recommended, because self-medication can harm the body and lead to complications. A U.S. doctor’s appointment on average will cost $80–300, which you can save if you can choose the right medication yourself. You can cure a cold/flu without visiting a doctor by omnipotent fortified, sweet-tasting powders, like Fervex and Coldrex. In an average U.S. pharmacy, you can find many sweet cough lozenges containing menthol and mint.

In general, Americans can buy such pills to treat the common cold:

  • Theraflu is a free-flowing powder designed to quickly relieve cold symptoms and reduce fever;
  • Mucinex and Tussin are two prescription-free medications with a mucolytic effect;
  • Afrin are the nasal drops or spray against the common cold, including allergic reactions;
  • Motrin is an antipyretic;
  • DayQuil and NyQuil are 2 liquid potions. DayQuil is used during the day, and to relieve the symptoms of a cold at night, you should drink NyQuil.
  • Cepacol are cough lozenges.

Digestive disorders in the USA can be treated with almost the same prescription-free drugs:

  • Activated Charcoal Tablets is a recipe for treating indigestion familiar from childhood;
  • Imodium is also widely represented in the US market and is not much different from the domestic counterpart.
  • Pepto-Bismol is also used for diarrhea, but is available only in the U.S. and Canada markets;
  • Tums, Mylanta, Pepcid AC are the most popular medicines for heartburn;
  • Pancreatin is a drug used for gastritis and pancreatitis;
  • Zantac, Acid Reducer are the drugs used for high acidity reflux.

Each medical kit must have painkillers. It is a belief that painkillers are better for the digestive system than antibiotics.

You may get such prescription-free meds in the United States of America:

  • Tylenol is a painkiller whose active substance is ibuprofen. It copes with headache or toothache;
  • Advil provides the effect of the drug is also based on ibuprofen;
  • Migraine Relief is a drug designed to treat migraines.

The treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other serious diseases associated with the respiratory system is carried out only as directed by a specialist. Nevertheless, many antihistamines are available in pharmacies freely, allowing you to relieve swelling of the respiratory tract and symptoms of allergic reactions.

For example, the preparations Nasalcrom, Chlor-Trimeton, Actifed, Sudafed, Benadryl, Drixoral are analogues of such anti-allergic drugs as Suprastin and Claritin. You can also try Zyrtec, which successfully cures airway swelling caused by allergic reactions.

What difficulties with well-being would not have arisen, in U.S. pharmacies you can find a remedy for any life event. For this, in the lobby of each pharmacy supermarket and in each drugstore a pharmacist is able to advise and help you choose the right medicine. Another thing is that most psychotropic drugs and controlled substances are dispensed only as prescribed by the attending physician.

These U.S. public medications are available without a prescription: 

  • Melatonin is one of the few insomnia drugs available without RX in the United States.
  • Stress Formula is a drug that helps calm CNS in a stressful situation;
  • Lactaid helps absorb lactose;
  • Neosporin, Polysporin, Hibiclens — the open wound treatment that can be used instead of iodine and brilliant green;
  • Hydrogen peroxide is also accessible without a prescription.

Of course, if you get sick, then it’s better to consult a doctor right away, and the U.S. system for selling medicines often involves a certain mechanism of action. On the other hand, people won’t go to a hospital for every migraine or a cold. In a home medicinal cabinet, anyway, there should still be a minimum of funds for emergency assistance and for the relief of symptoms. However, if you need to get a cheaper prescription-only medication only from Canada, use online drugstores that accept U.S. RX forms by fax or email.