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Canadian Drugs
Old 12-29-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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Canadian Drugs

I was informed last month that the premiums on my Medicare Part D drug insurance was going to increase another 30% at the end of the year. I compared drug prices that I would have to pay without the insurance and discovered that when I figured in the premiums, I would actually save $1,700 per year by dropping the insurance completely. A major portion of this savings would come from buying some of the drugs from Canada. I understand that the U.S. Government is trying to protect me from unsavory drug manufacturers (the same ones that negotiate with my insurance company) and has made this importation illegal. I havenít noticed Canadians dying from these drugs in any great numbers, so I am willing to take that risk. Does anyone know what my legal risks are? If caught by the Feds, will I have to join Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow in prison as a felon?
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robt View Post
If caught by the Feds, will I have to join Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow in prison as a felon?
Possibly, but look on the bright side. If you do, your drugs will be free.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:47 AM   #3
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I wouldn't be surprised if the folks in Congress didn't anticipate this and write some irrational clause into the Medicare program to fix your wagon. If they insist that you be penalized 1 percent a month for each month you wait to enroll in Part D (10 percent per year for Part B), then I can only imagine what foolishness they dreamed up to make your (yes, you) life better.

I would ask them (the Medicare folks) prior to dropping out. Just to be sure.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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The Medicare Rights Center might (if you stumble around enough) help you find the answer. Everone on Medicare, in any event, should subscribe to "Dear Marci"'s newsletter.
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:13 PM   #5
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You run the risk of having your meds confiscated at the border -- after you've already paid for them, of course.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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My parents used to get their prescriptions from Canada. My Mom was on a number of prescriptions for depression and then all the side effects of the stuff she was on. My Dad may have had a few prescriptions, too.

They live in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH and they went on a group bus trip to one of the Canadian casinos near Detroit. They, and a few other couples, walked in the casino and out the other side, which was conveniently located right near a pharmacy. This pharmacy dealt with a lot of Americans and made it very easy. They met with someone who fulfilled the requirements needed and waited for their prescriptions. Then they walked back to the casino for dinner because the group bus rate included a meal voucher. My Dad would never miss a free meal. They never gambled, this was just an easy way to get to Canada for the pharmacy.

Later when they needed refills all they had to do was call the pharmacy and they'd be mailed out. My Dad figured out he saved 50-60% on prescriptions. He never had any problem with the products or the transactions.

He did this for a few years. Then some of their prescriptions changed and he started going to the Veterans Administration for his own medications and they were much cheaper through the VA. So they stopped buying from the Canadian pharmacy. But he recommended it to many of his friends in similar circumstances.

This was probably 5-7 years ago. Have the rules changed?
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks, Sue. This was helpful information. As far as I know, the rules are still the same, although Obama has said he would like to change the laws to make importing drugs from Canada legal.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:33 PM   #8
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Memories of smuggling Amoxocillin into the states from Mexico & Belize - was fighting gum disease and seemed like a painfull abcess would regularly flare up Thursday night after the dentist was gone home till Monday. Somehow drug smuggling these days has a different feel to it than back in the long haired hippie days. For a real rush, try smuggling 1 oz. of toothpaste in a 6 oz. tube past the TSAs!

Save your recent USA prescription pill bottles and take them north with only as many pills as will get you there - refill the container(s) while in Canada.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:20 PM   #9
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While I have no idea about US laws concerning this, Canadian law also applies. Canadian pharmacies can only fill prescriptions signed by a Dr. licensed to practise in Canada. In the past, Internet based drug stores would pay Cdn docs to prescribe what a US doc had prescribed.

A few years ago, the Canadian Medical Association decided that it was unethical for a Cdn doc to prescribe if (s)he had not examined the patient, looked at history, that sort of thing. From their website

Another link


Might be harder than it appears.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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What kumquat said.

Meadbh (Canuck MD)
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