Need a pill?

We had the recent experience of requiring some prescription medicine while in the U.S. So what does one do armed only with a Canadian prescription while in the U.S.? Don’t try Google on this one as you will get hundreds of pages on how to get Canadian Drugs shipped to the U.S. but nothing on using a Canadian prescription in the U.S.

The first solution was to have the prescription submitted to our regular pharmacy in Canada and have one of our kid’s courier it to us overnight. A rough charge for FedEx or UPS for this service would be about $40.00. Next choice, as per Google, there are online sites based in Manitoba that will fill Canadian prescriptions and ship to a U.S. address. Here is the catch, their published shipping time is 21 days so not what you want to use in an emergency. A similar service is offered at with a $15.00 flat rate shipping charge by Canada XPRESSPOST with delivery in 7-10 days.

I called the local Walgreens and to my surprise they told me that they would accept my Canadian prescription. All I had to do was either bring it in or have the Dr. fax it directly to the pharmacy. Searched and found the following…

Arizona Revised Statutes – Title 32 Professions and Occupations – Section 32-1969 Filling Mexican and Canadian prescription orders; records; exception

32-1969. Filling Mexican and Canadian prescription orders; records; exception

A. This chapter does not prohibit a pharmacist or an intern under a pharmacist’s supervision from filling a new written prescription order for a drug or device issued by a medical practitioner licensed by the appropriate licensing board of Canada or the Republic of Mexico.

B. The proprietor, manager or pharmacist in charge of a pharmacy shall keep a separate record of prescriptions filled pursuant to this section.

C. A pharmacist or intern shall not fill a prescription order issued by a medical practitioner licensed by the appropriate licensing board of Canada or the Republic of Mexico for a controlled substance as defined pursuant to title 36, chapter 27, article 2.

If you’re planning an extended trip and will need to have a Canadian prescription filled or refills I suggest you call your local Wal-Mart, Walgreens or other pharmacy at your destination to verify that they will accept the Canadian script, I have read that a number of states accept Canadian prescriptions but can’t find any details, I’ll assume that different states have different regulations like Arizona.

Now if you are visiting a state that does not take a Canadian prescription don’t worry, take it into your local walk in clinic and have the doctor issue you a U.S. prescription, will probably cost you around $30.00 for visit. Cheaper than UPS shipment.

Now the last piece of information, after hundreds of ads and links on Google it would appear that there is a huge difference between the cost of med’s in the U.S. and the cost in Canada. So I did a little comparison – the prescriptions we had filled at Walgreens cost $145.00, no dispensing fee and no tax. The same prescriptions would be $209.40 in Canada, figure on another $10.00 each (5) for dispensing. So we are looking at $259.00. Again are we missing something?

About 2sidesof49

This Blog is for all Canadian Cross-Border Shoppers wanting to maximize their returns on their U.S. shopping trips. Visit for tips and tricks and links to our partners websites, blogs and products. Also check out my book The Canadian Cross-Border Shopping Guide - guaranteed to save you money!
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