U.S. Citizens Crossing the Border into Mexico for Cheap Drugs
Every year, many U.S. citizens cross the border into Mexico to purchase cheap prescription drugs. This is especially true for those who live in Texas, Arizona, and California where Mexican border towns are conveniently accessible. More often than not, U.S. citizens purchase drugs in Mexico because some prescription drugs there are relatively cheaper compared to the same kinds of drugs sold in the U.S. Also, some drugs may be more difficult to acquire locally and are more available in Mexico. There are also a lot of alternative brands available in Mexico, as a counterpart for well-known or big-name brands, sold for a significantly lower price. Furthermore, some drugs that require a prescription in the U.S. like anabolic steroids are sold in Mexican pharmacies over-the-counter. In general, the control and regulation for prescription drugs in Mexico is less stringent than in the U.S. Still, Mexico has established laws and rules regulating the manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs. Before buying drugs in Mexico, be sure that you are aware of the consequences, safety risks and applicable laws in both U.S. and Mexico.
Understanding Mexican pharmacies
Pharmacies or ‘farmacias’ in Mexico are classified into two types: the second class pharmacy called ‘segunda clase,’ and the first class pharmacy called the ‘primera clase.’ The more common type is the ‘segunda clase,’ so named because of not having the permission to carry and sell regulated or controlled medicines. Controlled or regulated drugs can be sold only in ‘primera clase’ pharmacies. Controlled drugs are those that are known to be abused or have a high potential of being abused. Examples of which include Valiums, narcotic painkillers, and anabolic steroids. If a drug is controlled or ‘controlado’ you cannot buy it over the counter, and will need a prescription from a certified and registered Mexican doctor. Before thinking of buying cheap drugs in Mexico, ask your pharmacist at home what class your medication is (Class I-IV). If your medication is designated as class II, III, or IV, you can be almost certain that you will need a prescription to buy it in Mexico.
Knowing Mexican laws
Federal agencies in Mexico, called Sector Salud, are the ones responsible for monitoring controlled drugs. Those that are caught selling controlled medicines without a prescription are fined, shut down, or put into jail. It is also the same for doctors who are caught over-prescribing controlled drugs and other inappropriate medicines. Most of the time, their federal registration number will be revoked and will be branded as an ‘outlaw.’
Knowing U.S. laws
In the U.S., the importation and interstate shipment of new unapproved drugs is prohibited. These include medicines that have not received the approval stamp of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as alternative brands or foreign-made versions of FDA-approved drugs. Controlled substances such as anabolic steroids, narcotic painkillers, and tranquilizers, and are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Any type of drug brought over the border to the U.S., even for the purposes of personal use or supply, has to be declared to the U.S. Customs. If you are importing prescription drugs, you need to present a valid prescription in your own name issued by a U.S. doctor.
Considering the risks
There are some risks in buying cheap drugs in Mexico. There are medical studies that show that one in five drugs purchased in Mexico are substandard or counterfeit. Some Mexican pharmacists are also not as well trained as U.S. pharmacists and may not have the appropriate medical training and are simply sales people. If the drugs you purchase causes you harm, you have no recourse and can’t have anyone take responsibility for it and have no one to blame but yourself. When buying cheap drug in Mexico, always take extra precaution.