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Old 05-29-2012, 07:23 AM   #1
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Buying Rx Medication in Canada

I am a US citizen, without health insurance, planning to trek up to British Columbia, Canada with prescriptions from my US doctor. Can anyone offer any advise or cautions?

One Rx is for a narcotic pain med and I have been told I will need to go to a walk-in clinic and have a Canadian doctor re-write this one. Can anyone recommend a Dr or clinic near the border? How about a cheap pharmacy?

I am planning to drive the RV to Blaine, WA leaving my daughter with the moho and the pets and just take the toad across the border for the day. She doesn't have her passport and if I take Sena out of the US, our govt won't let me bring her back.

How long will it take me to go thru the border on a Monday morning? Will my US auto insurance cover me in Canada? This will be a new experience for me.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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Your auto insurance should be fine, thousands of Canadians and Americans cross the border every day. Wait times at Blaine are usually in the 10-20 minute range as long as it's not a holiday or weekend. I saw a recent TV news program about the various dispensing charges here in the lower mainland (accross the border from Blaine) and they found that the cheapest was Costco. I don't know about needing a Canadian prescription, it might be a good idea to phone ahead and check on that. If you do need to go to a walk in clinic the wait times to see a doctor and vary greatly, anywhere from 10 minutes to up to a couple of hours, sometimes the doctors have appointment times for their regular patients so the walk ins have to be fit in around those. There is lots of room in Blaine so you should have no problem finding a place to leave the motorhome for a few hours. Good luck
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Hey OK....,

Your US auto insurance is fine in Canada.

Google Costco in Surrey and get the phone # for the pharmacy.... Talk to the pharmacist before you make the trip. Our CDN prescriptions do NOT work in the US, so I imagine the same will apply for your US prescriptions in Cdn.

If you do need Cdn. Prescriptions I would suggest you Google a walk/clinic in White Rock & confirm that they will write you what you need.

For what it is worth....if your prescription drugs are expensive ..... It might be worth exploring the costs (driving or flying) to Yuma & visiting the pharmacies in Algadonas MX. These pharmacies are set-up to sell prescription drugs to US citizens and the cost are considerably lower than Cdn. You can Google the Purple Pharmacy in Algadonas for prices.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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Thanks, it's good to know there are Costcos in Canada. Something familiar, yeah!

I notice what looks like 2 entry ports on Google Earth, on I-5 and a state hiway a few miles east. Is there an advantage to either?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
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Thanks, it's good to know there are Costcos in Canada. Something familiar, yeah!

I notice what looks like 2 entry ports on Google Earth, on I-5 and a state hiway a few miles east. Is there an advantage to either?

Thanks for the help!
Since you will be driving your toad you will,probably want to use the crossing on the I5 (Peace Arch). The other crossing is for trucks (although you can use this crossing if Peace Arch is busy). Regardless the Peace Arch crossing leads in a more direct sense to the Costco in Surrey & the medi clinics in White Rock.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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One caution on using the Peace Arch crossing, if you're not careful you could end up at the border before you have a chance to unhook and park your motorhome. If you take the truck exit you will find plenty of areas to park before you get to the border, there is a small shopping center a block off the main drag. Right at the second light. The two crossings are within a mile or two of each other on the north side. The wait times are usually pretty similar between the two and there is an couple advisories on the I-5 as you head north. A gps would be a good thing to have.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:39 AM   #7
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It's not legal to bring back the narcotics from Mexico. If you get a twitchy border agent, you can get in a lot of trouble. Also, while their prices are MUCH lower, you have to be really careful. I filled a prescription for some asthma medication that turned out to be a much lower dosage than what I required and another prescription that turned out to be an entirely different medication from what was written.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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When the border guys ask you what you are doing in Canada, dont lie. They can smell a lie easily. They look at your plates going, and coming, and they have all the answers. Wa staters go up there to buy meds alot since Obamacare hasnt slowed the pace drugs.

I hope you have your prescription with you.

I live in Wa and buy meds through the mail from a place in Vancouver.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Are you actually doing this?

"For what it is worth....if your prescription drugs are expensive ..... It might be worth exploring the costs (driving or flying) to Yuma & visiting the pharmacies in Algadonas MX. These pharmacies are set-up to sell prescription drugs to US citizens and the cost are considerably lower than Cdn. You can Google the Purple Pharmacy in Algadonas for prices."

Having worked in the Pharma industry and knowing what the stats are regarding the entry points for counterfeits I would never get drugs from Mexico. Canada maybe, but NEVER Mexico. Mexico has nothing at all like the FDA, certainly nothing enforced.

But HEY! Maybe you'll get lucky! My Aunt Rosa wasn't. She died of breast cancer, the mexican pharmacy sent her sugar pills and told her she was 'cured'.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:43 PM   #10
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Mexico makes me nervous, especially being single and since I probably would have to go alone. I am in Seattle for the summer so Canada makes more sense anyway.

I can buy one of my Rx online from a CIPA Canadian pharmacy for $1 each instead of $5.05 here. The cost of drugs in the US is insane. The other Rx is a scheduled narcotic pain med and can not be shipped, so off to Canada I go with written prescriptions from my family physician.

Wish me luck.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by okmunky View Post
Mexico makes me nervous
The cost of drugs in the US is insane.

Wish me luck.
Good luck
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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Hey Muddy....

Totally agree with your comment concerning the safety of Mexican and/or Canadian drugs. In an ideal world why take the risk?

On the other hand, we have lived in Mexico for over 10yrs. Prior to Mexico we lived in Canada for over 50yrs and we have survived the medications in both countries.

Life is always about some risk.... in Yuma thousands of Americans & Canadians are crossing the border everyday to legally purchase prescription drugs. They are accepting the risk based upon the first hand experience of friends, neighbors, etc But.... No argument there is some risk.

Having worked in the world of big Pharma you will no doubt be aware of the literally hundreds of class action lawsuits which have been filed against FDA approved drugs. No doubt many are frivolous, but many have also proven to be legit.

Always some risk!
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:01 AM   #13
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Rx Assistance

My 'Big Pharma' employer started an industry wide assistance program several years ago. It is a clearing house of assistance programs and is not associated with any one pharma company.

Prescription Assistance Program |
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okmunky View Post
I am a US citizen, without health insurance, planning to trek up to British Columbia, Canada with prescriptions from my US doctor. Can anyone offer any advise or cautions?

One Rx is for a narcotic pain med and I have been told I will need to go to a walk-in clinic and have a Canadian doctor re-write this one. Can anyone recommend a Dr or clinic near the border? How about a cheap pharmacy?

I am planning to drive the RV to Blaine, WA leaving my daughter with the moho and the pets and just take the toad across the border for the day. She doesn't have her passport and if I take Sena out of the US, our govt won't let me bring her back.

How long will it take me to go thru the border on a Monday morning? Will my US auto insurance cover me in Canada? This will be a new experience for me.
How dare you try to take money away from hard working Americans!!!!


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