Posted by Bruce on December 14, 1999, at 7:03:58
In reply to Re: Purchasing drugs overseas? , posted by andrewb on December 13, 1999, at 13:43:29
> "....a US doc can't prescribe an unapproved drug", "...the 90 day supply often mentioned is disclaimed on the Customs site."
> I am confused now Zeke. I keep on reading that a 90 day supply of medicine for personal use (as long as it is not a controlled substance) can be ordered or brought in from overseas, even if the medicine isn't approved of in the US. Whether a prescription is required depends on whether the country of origen requires a prescriptiion. For example, many drugs that require prescriptions in Switzerland don't require prescriptions in Thailand.
> Also, I thought US doctors can prescribe medicines that aren't approved for use in the US. My psychiatrist checked on this and then prescribed me amisulpride which doesn't have US approval.
> Can anybody clear up this confusion. Is there an official and unofficial US Customs policy concerning medicines?
US docs can prescribe medicines that are unapproved in the US. They can also prescribe medicines approved for one illness to treat a second illness. The treatment of the second illness is unapproved by the FDA, but permitted by law.
My understanding of the FDA's position is that you are allowed to import a small amount of drugs (uncontrolled substances of course) for personal use; the 90-day supply is used as an example of what the FDA had in mind. Sometimes Customs will confiscate the drugs and then it is up to you to go to court to force them to give it back, or at least convince them of your need. The folks at one site say that "traditionally, US CUSTOMS has allowed the importation of drugs for personal use.."
Tradition isn't much to hang your hat on.