Would You Buy Prescription Medicine From Another Country?

I’ve asked my readers if they would go to Mexico for health care. A few people commented and I personally would not feel comfortable going to Mexico for health care.  I have had friends who swear by their Mexican dentist and paid a fraction of what we would pay here in the states, even with insurance.

Today I want to talk about something else along similar lines.  Would you be willing to buy prescription medicine from another country?

It is amazing how inexpensive medications from other countries are, compared to costs in the United States.

A friend and I were talking about this situation the other day.  She is an intelligent woman and has had a difficult time finding a doctor that knows half of what she’s learned by her diligent research on the Internet.  She was sick for a long time, going from doctor after doctor trying to find answers but was unsuccessful until she took matters into her own hands.   It took hours and hours of research on her part to narrow down exactly what was going on with her.

Sometimes I think we expect too much from doctors, some people expect them to have all the answers, and if they don’t they fire them and find a new doctor.  On the other hand there are the doctors that don’t think their patients have a brain, and don’t want to hear that they’ve been on the Internet or they make fun of them (been there, done that).

When my friend finally pieced everything together she was able to pinpoint the kind of doctor she needed and luckily she found a good doctor that was willing to read the studies and take a chance to try the healing protocol that my friend had learned about.

Not too long after that she started to feel better.  A lot better.  All those years, all that money, all those doctors, a few even accusing her right to her face of being a hypochondriac.

One thing she learned in her research is that the generic version of the medication she needed to take was not effective for most people, so she needed the name brand.   Her health insurance co-pay was $15 for the generic, but $65 for the name brand.

She’d known it was possible to drive down to the border and get almost anything you want.  She was uncomfortable with that, but eventually she learned that it was actually possible to order her medication online from countries like Mexico or India.

The kicker is that she could buy a three month supply for $65.  If she used her health insurance it would have cost her $195.  If she didn’t have insurance, it would have cost hundreds.  The medication from the other country was actually a stronger dose than the name brand here in the United States.  She’s not rich, and that’s a pretty big savings.  $65 vs. $195?  That’s awfully tempting.

What’s a frugal person to do when confronted with a situation like that?  If you found your medication could be bought from another country at 1/3 the cost would you consider it?



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7 thoughts on “Would You Buy Prescription Medicine From Another Country?

  1. I’d probably want to develop some knowledge of the country’s medical industry first. For all the complaints people have about the FDA, I have decent knowledge of how the drug approval process works in the US. I don’t know how this works in Canada, Mexico, France, India, or Argentina.

    I’ve definitely used the internet for research before. I self-diagnosed my acid reflux before going to a doctor to confirm. She didn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that I had done some research.


  2. I’d buy from Canada, but I’d be more afraid of other countries. What annoys me is that they don’t want you to buy meds from India when many of the meds we buy in the US are made in India. It definitely doesn’t seem right.


  3. Why would you not save money doing this if you can? We actually get all our prescriptions and healthcare in another country (Thailand) and it is so inexpensive that I spend probably 10% of what my employer sponsored health insurance cost back in the U.S. A visit to the doctor here costs the same as my co-pay back in the States and the trip to the dentist for a cleaning is about $20-25.


  4. Agree with Kosmo, just do some background checks on the approval process in other countries. Better yet, ask someone in the pharmaceutical industry to help you find out. At the end of the day, US consumers are the ones paying for patent protection and technically “paying for the innovation”, while most of the world simply has a single payer system that stands up to big pharma and will not buy a drug if it is too expensive.


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