The People's Guide To Mexico

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Buying Prescription Medicines
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Staying Healthy in Mexico: Buying Prescription Medicines

Do I Really Need A Prescription?

Response by David "El Codo" Eidell

Published: February 08


It seems that there are conflicting statements in the following from your website:

“Keep in mind that a US prescription is invalid in Mexico and that Mexican medicines are never repackaged into bottles with a prescription label (like US and Canadian medicines). In such case, possession of a valid MEXICAN prescription written by a Mexican doctor is your only proof that you purchased a controlled medicine legally in Mexico.

“The presence of a prescription bottle rom the USA or Canada with a label in your name, is treated by law enforcement and customs autorities in Mexico just as it would be in the USA and Canada -- the prescription bottle with its pasted on Rx is proof that you have a valid USA or Canadian prescription. This does not mean, however, that this  prescription would be valid in Mexico. The presence of a valid US or Canadian Rx in Mexico once again is that it might help you get a Mexican doctor to write a valid Mexican prescription, and shows the doctor, cops, and customs inspectors that your USA or Canadian medicine is covered by a valid, legal prescription.

It says "never", and then says "in such a case", I'm confused!

The site is GREAT, thanks so much!  I remember your dog-earred People’s Guide to Mexico being our family bible in early 70’s, when I was dragged to Mexico as a 5 year old, it was the start of a lifelong love affair with the country!

Thanks so much,

David “El Codo” Eidell responds:

Let's go over the issue of written prescriptions one more time:

Buying Prescription Medicines in Mexico

In order to buy (and carry in your possession) controlled medicines in Mexico, you must have a prescription from a Mexican doctor. If you already have a prescription from your doctor in the US or Canada, it will make it easier to get the prescription from a Mexican doctor. Once you have purchased the medicine, keep all prescriptions and receipts with you as you travel.

Bringing Prescription Medicines into Mexico

Mexico allows you to import controlled medications as long as you have a valid Rx with your name on it (from your doctor in the US or Canada) -- and as long as the number of pills found in your possesstion does not greatly exceed the number specified on the prescription or the label on the medication's container.

If Mexican authorities discover your stash of seven hundred Valium pills, you'd better have prescriptions that clearly cover that exact number (or more) of that Class III controlled medicine. A cop might not get excited by a hundred tablets, but if a search uncovers half a kilo of codeine tablets he could well get touchy about accountability.

Don't take risks in Mexico

Don't take risks in Mexico with controlled medications that aren’t covered by prescription. If you carry medications in Mexico that are originally from the US or Canada, they must be 'covered' by a valid USA or Canadian written prescription.

If your medications were actually purchased in Mexico, they must be covered by a valid Mexican prescription. You should also keep the sales receipt from the pharmacy, just for good measure.

Remember, Mexican justice treats large amounts of unlawfully possessed class II and III medicines as harshly as they do Class I drugs like heroin, hashish, and speed. Possession of controlled medicines without the presence of a valid written (US, Canadian or Mexican) prescription or copy, is treated as a felony.

Again, when purchasing prescription medicines in Mexico, do not discard either the Mexican doctor's Rx NOR the receipt for the medicine where you actually purchased it in Mexico.
Hope This Helps

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