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prepster
December 22nd, 2009, 02:19 AM
Over the next few days, I am sailing to Curacao, Aruba, Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Do you have recoomendations for buying inexpensive prescription drugs without a prescription in any of these places? Thank you!

Hlitner
December 22nd, 2009, 02:37 AM
My recommendation would be to buy your drugs at home. We are not aware of any of these islands selling legit prescription drugs without a valid script (often required from a local doctor). Also keep in mind that it is too common to find that prescription drugs sold in some countries are mere "look-a-likes" that do not contain any of the actual drug. Probably the best country for buying prescription drugs without a script is Mexico where just about any non-narcotic drug is available at the pharmacists.

Hank

paul929207
December 22nd, 2009, 06:51 AM
There is a threaed about buying perscription drugs and the possible dangers.

travelntreats
December 22nd, 2009, 10:18 AM
Cheap prescriptions from a foreign country just to save a little $$$ ??? I think not !

smeyer418
December 22nd, 2009, 10:32 AM
here is a link to the thread.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1104195

BTW because of the cost to get to these islands, they aren't high on the list of places Americans go to get prescript drugs. Mostly those are places people can drive to. Because of that you won't know which pharmacy has your drug(bring your original prescription bottle along with you). Most of the pharmacies won't be stocking fakes in the hopes a tourist will walk by, because of that these won't have a high chance of counterfeit drugs. I would stick with the higher income islands- like Aruba or Curacao were the high income makes scams less likely. St Thomas is an American possession and US drug laws and prices apply(you need a script)

http://www.enjoyaruba.com/pharmacies/index.htm

prepster
December 22nd, 2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, smeyer! Thinking of you from the deck of the Celebrity Constellation!

Traveler353
December 22nd, 2009, 01:33 PM
OP: You have no way of knowing what you are actualy buying. Be safe and have a great cruise.

greatam
December 22nd, 2009, 01:51 PM
OP: You have no way of knowing what you are actualy buying. Be safe and have a great cruise.

But you DO have a way of knowing!!! Just as an example: Valium-2mg, 5mg and 10 mg of diazepam PLUS In addition to the active ingredient diazepam, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, corn starch, pregelatinized starch and calcium stearate with the following dyes: 5-mg tablets contain FD&C Yellow No. 6 and D&C Yellow No. 10; 10-mg tablets contain FD&C Blue No. 1. Valium 2-mg tablets contain no dye.

Read the original package insert from your USA purchased drugs (or ask the pharmacist for it). Then when you go to Mexico/Canada, etc or order online, ask for the package insert or the chemical composition. Should be the same IF you are purchasing name brand drugs.

If you are purchasing generics, the chemical/molecular compound should be the same. Binders/additives may be different and that expensive pharma company name will be missing. XXX% of YYY (active ingredient) is pretty easy to determine in any language.

njhorseman
December 22nd, 2009, 03:45 PM
But you DO have a way of knowing!!! Just as an example: Valium-2mg, 5mg and 10 mg of diazepam PLUS In addition to the active ingredient diazepam, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, corn starch, pregelatinized starch and calcium stearate with the following dyes: 5-mg tablets contain FD&C Yellow No. 6 and D&C Yellow No. 10; 10-mg tablets contain FD&C Blue No. 1. Valium 2-mg tablets contain no dye.

Read the original package insert from your USA purchased drugs (or ask the pharmacist for it). Then when you go to Mexico/Canada, etc or order online, ask for the package insert or the chemical composition. Should be the same IF you are purchasing name brand drugs.

If you are purchasing generics, the chemical/molecular compound should be the same. Binders/additives may be different and that expensive pharma company name will be missing. XXX% of YYY (active ingredient) is pretty easy to determine in any language.


Yes, but how do you know that the package insert from the drug purchased in Mexico is not just a fraudulent copy of the real thing? How do you know that just because the bottle or the pills have the name of a legitimate manucfacturer on it that it actually came from that manufacturer? On a generic, how can you be sure that just because the packaging says it is xx mgs of a particular drug that it actually is?

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate pharmacies selling legitimate medications in Mexico or elsewhere, but how does a passenger walking off the ship's gangway into town know which pharmacies are legit and which aren't?

Taxguy77
December 22nd, 2009, 03:55 PM
Yes, but how do you know that the package insert from the drug purchased in Mexico is not just a fraudulent copy of the real thing? How do you know that just because the bottle or the pills have the name of a legitimate manucfacturer on it that it actually came from that manufacturer? On a generic, how can you be sure that just because the packaging says it is xx mgs of a particular drug that it actually is?

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate pharmacies selling legitimate medications in Mexico or elsewhere, but how does a passenger walking off the ship's gangway into town know which pharmacies are legit and which aren't?

How do you know in the U. S.?
The authorities catch millions of $$ woth of counterfeits of all kinds every year.

njhorseman
December 22nd, 2009, 04:02 PM
How do you know in the U. S.?
The authorities catch millions of $$ woth of counterfeits of all kinds every year.


I'm sure the authorities catch counterfeits in the US. Can you provide a link to a report that says how much?

You know the reason counterfeits are caught is because someone is actually looking for them. Think about that.

kitty9
December 22nd, 2009, 08:01 PM
In addition to the problem of not knowing whether your drugs are real or have been made to look real by a "company" in China, you have the problems of US Customs. They do not take too kindly of people bringing in prescription drugs from out of the US. The importation of many drugs into the US is illegal.

Here are some articles talking about drugs purchased in Mexico:

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm151048.htm

http://phoenix.about.com/cs/health/a/mexicodrugs.htm

http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/pr23.htm

These are just three of many articles about fake drugs in Mexico

broberts
December 22nd, 2009, 08:21 PM
I'm not saying there aren't legitimate pharmacies selling legitimate medications in Mexico or elsewhere, but how does a passenger walking off the ship's gangway into town know which pharmacies are legit and which aren't?

Based on the some of the responses in this thread it is absolutely shocking that there are no reports of hundreds of thousands of people outside the US dropping like flies because they've been sold counterfeit medication.

It's frankly insulting when I see posts like yours. Do you really think that US businesses are more law abiding than Canadian, Dutch, French, British, Bahamian, etc. companies? Do you really think that these countries have so little regard for their populations that willingly allow them to be killed by unscrupulous business people? Do you really think that the populations of these democracies are such idiots that they would allow a government to stand that allowed these practices?

All that being said, I would suggest that attempting to purchase more than just an emergency amount of a prescription medication should not be done. Not because of the potential quality of the drugs. But because it is typically illegal to bring these purchases back to the US. And because in most situations you would be soliciting a crime in the country in which you make the purchase.

If you want to pay reasonable prices for your prescription meds take a look at the rest of the developed world and learn how they do it.

smeyer418
December 22nd, 2009, 08:42 PM
In addition to the problem of not knowing whether your drugs are real or have been made to look real by a "company" in China, you have the problems of US Customs. They do not take too kindly of people bringing in prescription drugs from out of the US. The importation of many drugs into the US is illegal.

Here are some articles talking about drugs purchased in Mexico:

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm151048.htm

http://phoenix.about.com/cs/health/a/mexicodrugs.htm

http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/pr23.htm

These are just three of many articles about fake drugs in Mexico

2 of these articles from 2005 are about one Drug Evista...which is unapproved in the US. and the third just repeats the 1-5 report that is discussed extensively above.

The bringing back into the US of the drug you are taking that is same drug you buy overseas that you can get for a fifth the price is not illegal. The only caveat is that the amount you bring back in has to be a reasonable amount and don't lie about it to the Customs people.

room010
December 22nd, 2009, 08:47 PM
This is even assumes that people wish to purchase these drugs, counterfeit or otherwise, for their own consumption. I can see how obtaining certain prescription meds cheaply and over the counter with no questions asked, eg Tamazepan, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Steroids etc could be seen as a very obvious lucrative business opportunity. It's one of the reasons these meds are prescription only in the first place so anyone wishing to obtain them, especially in quantity, without a script (unless it's an emergency) should raise a big red flag about what they plan to do with them later.

smeyer418
December 22nd, 2009, 08:57 PM
This is even assumes that people wish to purchase these drugs, counterfeit or otherwise, for their own consumption. I can see how obtaining certain prescription meds cheaply and over the counter with no questions asked, eg Tamazepan, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Steroids etc could be seen as a very obvious lucrative business opportunity. It's one of the reasons these meds are prescription only in the first place so anyone wishing to obtain them, especially in quantity, without a script (unless it's an emergency) should raise a big red flag about what they plan to do with them later.

yes but people who do this don't bring in a bottle of 250. They bring in 1000's. The CBP people allow you to bring in no more than about 180 doses(the rule says less but that is what they actually allow). If they find bottles and bottles they assume you are buying for resale and they throw your backside in jail-where it belongs. Its a grey market issue. You can't buy 20 canon cameras overseas where they are less and try to resell them either- same grey market issue.

what I think is funny is that some(not all) of you who are posting about not doing this also try to smuggle booze on board because its cheaper.... Alcohol is a drug and the illegal importation of it probably caused more crime than almost anything....

greatam
December 22nd, 2009, 09:06 PM
This is even assumes that people wish to purchase these drugs, counterfeit or otherwise, for their own consumption. I can see how obtaining certain prescription meds cheaply and over the counter with no questions asked, eg Tamazepan, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Steroids etc could be seen as a very obvious lucrative business opportunity. It's one of the reasons these meds are prescription only in the first place so anyone wishing to obtain them, especially in quantity, without a script (unless it's an emergency) should raise a big red flag about what they plan to do with them later.

The main thrust of this discussion is about non controlled substance prescription drugs-blood pressure, antibiotics, statins, etc. etc.

You cannot LEGALLY buy controlled drugs over the counter and bring them into the USA WITHOUT both a US prescription and an prescribing country prescription. This is relatively easy to do in most border towns in Mexico that support a pharmacy trade. And yes, you can buy valium, oxy, etc. etc. from some internet pharmacies WITHOUT a prescription (they bogus one up for you). And yes, you could probably buy large quantities, if you really pursued it. And yes, you could make a lot of money selling the drugs.

But you may end up getting killed if the drugs turn out to be counterfeits, you could end up in jail or maybe have the drugs confiscated by Customs before they even reach you. Who is going to raise the red flag-the cops or the pharmacy??? Please tell me what point you are trying to make??? I am totally confused.

njhorseman
December 22nd, 2009, 09:42 PM
Based on the some of the responses in this thread it is absolutely shocking that there are no reports of hundreds of thousands of people outside the US dropping like flies because they've been sold counterfeit medication.

It's frankly insulting when I see posts like yours. Do you really think that US businesses are more law abiding than Canadian, Dutch, French, British, Bahamian, etc. companies? Do you really think that these countries have so little regard for their populations that willingly allow them to be killed by unscrupulous business people? Do you really think that the populations of these democracies are such idiots that they would allow a government to stand that allowed these practices?

All that being said, I would suggest that attempting to purchase more than just an emergency amount of a prescription medication should not be done. Not because of the potential quality of the drugs. But because it is typically illegal to bring these purchases back to the US. And because in most situations you would be soliciting a crime in the country in which you make the purchase.

If you want to pay reasonable prices for your prescription meds take a look at the rest of the developed world and learn how they do it.


Excuse me, but where did I say one word about US businesses being more law abiding than Canadian, Dutch, French, British, Bahamian, etc?

I asked one question...How does a passenger walking off a cruise ship know if a pharmacy in Mexico is legitimate? Controlled substances aside, many drugs requiring a prescription in the US, Canada, and the other countries you mentioned do not require a prescription in Mexico. That would seem to open up the process to a world of potential abuses.

So next time try answering my question rather than attacking something I never said.

broberts
December 22nd, 2009, 09:56 PM
I asked one question...How does a passenger walking off a cruise ship know if a pharmacy in Mexico is legitimate? Controlled substances aside, many drugs requiring a prescription in the US, Canada, and the other countries you mentioned do not require a prescription in Mexico. That would seem to open up the process to a world of potential abuses.


So next time try answering my question rather than attacking something I never said.

If you check back to what you wrote I believe that you will see that your words were ". . .Mexico or elsewhere . . .". Had you simply said Mexico I would have picked a different post to quote.

But I'll ask you a question in return. How does a passenger walking off a cruise ship know if a pharmacy in St Thomas, San Juan, Boston, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, LA, Baltimore, New York, etc. is legitimate?

njhorseman
December 22nd, 2009, 10:22 PM
If you check back to what you wrote I believe that you will see that your words were ". . .Mexico or elsewhere . . .". Had you simply said Mexico I would have picked a different post to quote.

But I'll ask you a question in return. How does a passenger walking off a cruise ship know if a pharmacy in St Thomas, San Juan, Boston, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, LA, Baltimore, New York, etc. is legitimate?

The "elsewhere" in my response referred to the islands specifically named by the OP. Where, for example, is Canada mentioned in this thread?

Because authorities in the US will close down any pharmacy not operating within the boundaries of the law in the blink of an eye. I have an acquaintance who not only lost his pharmacist's license and business, but also was convicted of a felony in federal court for knowingly selling out of date medication.

Given the historical rampant police corruption in Mexico, not to mention the near death grip that drug cartels seem to have on many parts of the country, I have zero confidence in Mexico's ability and willingness to enforce its laws. This only compunds the potential problems arising from many medications not requiring a prescription in Mexico.

navybankerteacher
December 23rd, 2009, 12:02 PM
OP should have been more specific./ Does "best" mean cheapest, biggest selection, or possibly even most reliable when it might come to actually getting what you think you are buying. Jamaica is probably best if you want to buy anything - not just prescription drugs. St. Thomas would be best if you are interested in getting what you think you are buying. One of the Dutch or French islands might be a good compromise -- but you should ask yourself why you think that islands where you can buy virtually any counterfeit knock-off - Fendi, Chanel, YSL, Gucci, Rolex, etc. would never put you at risk of offering counterfeit drugs.

smeyer418
December 26th, 2009, 01:15 PM
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/doing_their_pest_kSYuuK4FzY4jPXZiDRTnhO

FYI its not only Mexican pharmacies that have a problem...

njhorseman
December 26th, 2009, 02:31 PM
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/doing_their_pest_kSYuuK4FzY4jPXZiDRTnhO

FYI its not only Mexican pharmacies that have a problem...


And my response:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=22433954&postcount=127