Question: How many people import medication ordered online for personal use?
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in November of 2016 found that 8% of Americans say they have imported a medication for personal use, which is about 19 million people. According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, about four million Americans imported a medication from an international source due to high drug prices in 2014.
While the law allows the FDA and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to detain and refuse international prescription orders arriving through the mail, less than one percent are actually stopped. In these cases, under U.S. law, purchasers will be informed by the FDA that a drug order has been detained or refused and allow the consumer to challenge the FDA's decision to confiscate the medication. To learn how to provide testimony to the FDA if medication is taken, consumers can access Prescription Justice at www.pjag.org.Back to all FAQs