The push to legalize Canadian drug importation has been a dominant headline in the newspapers over the last several years. Stories of how the elderly load up on buses and go north to save money are heard all too often. But are those seniors actually criminals for purchasing their medications in Canada?
If the government wanted to, it could throw grandma and grandpa behind bars for illegally importing prescription medications. This doesn’t mean that the government is going to prosecute the average Joe trying to save money on his prescription drugs. The government is more worried about companies purchasing large amounts with the intent of reselling them in order to make a profit.
Although the FDA does not encourage importation, it recognizes the reality that millions of Americans purchase drugs from Canada. As Sen. Joe Lieberman has put it, it’s a “Boston Tea Party of the 21st Century.” As a result of this overwhelming tide of public sentiment, the FDA has posted some basic guidelines for individuals to follow when ordering medications from Canada online. As long as only a 90-day supply of a non-controlled substance is ordered, you should have no difficulty in receiving your order.
Today, busloads of seniors continue the trek to Canada for their prescription medications. They are joined by advocacy groups and state and local governments that have also gone north to save on their prescriptions. More than two million Americans order their prescription medication from Canada each year, which translates to $1.4 billion. And more than 70 percent of Americans support the legal importation of prescription medications.
The mounting pressure placed on the government by all those in support of importing drugs from Canada will soon be too loud a voice to ignore.