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Tod Cooperman, MD
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Dr. Tod Cooperman is a noted researcher, writer, and speaker on consumer healthcare issues.
Gabriel Levitt, MA
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Mr. Levitt oversees all business operations, development and research. He is a public advocate for prescription drug affordability.
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The information provided on Ask PharmacyChecker is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, nor is it an endorsement of any product or service.
If you are considering purchasing medication from outside the U.S., be aware that, in most circumstances, it is technically not legal for individuals to import prescription drugs; however, U.S. government officials have stated that individuals who order non-controlled prescription drugs from Canada or other foreign sources (up to a three-month supply) for their own use are not being pursued or prosecuted.
Can a U.S. pharmacy transfer a prescription for Restasis to Canada?
The short answer is, generally, no. An original prescription from your provider is required. Our response is based largely on a review of the policies of international online pharmacies in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program.
Canadian pharmacies are generally not permitted to accept prescription transfers from U.S. pharmacies. Canadian provinces require that pharmacies dispense medications pursuant to a valid prescription authorized by a Canadian practitioner. Therefore, U.S. prescriptions received by a Canadian pharmacy must be approved by a Canadian physician prior to being filled. This requires that the pharmacy receive a health history survey and an original signed prescription, which can be faxed by your doctor or mailed—either by yourself or your doctor on your behalf. Additionally, a licensed pharmacy can work directly with your doctor to facilitate the receipt of the prescription and/or arrange refills when necessary.
Based on various state regulations within the U.S. — although U.S. pharmacies are permitted to transfer prescriptions, including refills, for non-controlled drugs under certain circumstances—transferring prescriptions to foreign pharmacies may not be permitted.
Finally, even though many states have not explicitly banned transferring U.S. prescriptions to non-U.S. pharmacies, pharmacists may be reluctant to do so because in most cases it remains technically illegal under U.S. federal law to import medication for personal use.
Interestingly, Texas pharmacists are expressly permitted to fill prescriptions written by Canadian or Mexican Practitioners for non-controlled substances; however, pharmacies are only permitted to transfer authorized refills for those prescription between Texan pharmacies. Click here to read more.
Click here to find out more about drug importation laws, regulations and policies.