If you have parents or loved ones in the USA and want to send them essential medicines, don’t worry – there’s a way.
Many medicines are available for cheap in India than in USA. For this reason, many NRIs who are on medication, prefer to buy these medicines in bulk from India and have it sent to USA.
Many a time, this creates confusion because there is not much clarity on how much medicine can be sent to USA, what are the documents required etc.
According to FDA,
In most cases, it’s illegal for people to import drugs into the United States for personal use. That’s because drugs available in other countries haven’t been evaluated or approved by FDA for use or sale in the U.S., so we can’t ensure that they’re safe and effective. FDA generally considers such drugs unapproved.Food and Drug Administration of USA
However, FDA states that for cases in which someone may need treatment with a foreign drug that’s not available in the U.S., they do allow personal imports.
But you got to prove that there are no other U.S. medicines available to treat the condition.
FDA’s Personal Importation Policy provides instructions for FDA personnel relating to the personal importation of drugs that may be illegal in the United States. FDA considers the following when reviewing such an application:
- The drug is for a serious condition for which there is no effective treatment available in the U.S.
- There is no marketing or promotion of the drug to U.S. residents.
- The drug doesn’t represent an unreasonable health risk.
- You verify in writing that you’re importing the drug for your own personal use.
- You have a letter, written in English, from your doctor saying the drug is a continuation of treatment that began outside the United States or you provide the name and address of a U.S. licensed physician who will supervise your use of the foreign drug. The letter should accompany the package and be addressed to a Customs and Border Protection officer or broker.
- You’re not importing more than a three-month supply of the drug.
How to send medicines to USA – Things to know
If you’re sending medicines for your loved ones in the USA, you need to know the following.
- Medicines can only be imported for a maximum of 90 days supply.
- The commercial import of medicines to USA is not allowed.
- Medicines exported from the USA can only be returned to the manufacturer.
- Only FDA approved medicines can be imported to the USA.
- Not all medicines can be sent to USA.
- A Doctor’s prescription is required.
- Aadhaar and IDs of both sender and receiver is required.
According to Fedex, the following documents are required to send medicines to USA.
- A copy of a valid doctor’s prescription
- Complete name, address phone number of the recipient’s licensed treating physician
- Name & address of the drug manufacturer
- Form of medicine (tablets, capsules, liquid etc.)
- Type of packaging
- Type of medical condition being treated
- If the medication can be purchased at the destination
- Dosage strength
- Copy of passport required for non-resident consignee’s
How to send medicines to USA – Methods
There are many courier services both international and local that can help you send medicines to USA from India.
They differ based on their service charges, time required for shipment, insurance, availability in select cities etc.
Most international courier companies will send medicines to USA quickly, as they have flight services (shipping by air), but they are usually very expensive.
Their price depend on the location (destination) and the weight + dimensions of the shipment.
There are local courier services that can send the medicines cheaper, but they may take a day or two more than international shipping companies.
One company in Bangalore specializes in this service, they’re called Uniexcourierandcargo. (I do not endorse any brand I mention here).
Fedex also has a medical courier service and is available in all leading cities in India.