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Frase 03-09-2010 12:47 AM

I will be going to Cozumel in May. It will be my third time to that Island, on a cruise. Both times in the past, I couldn't help but notice that one of the big items for sale was prescription medication. Every other store in Cozumel had some prescriptions meds for sale. Some of the most popular ones were for male EDS (******, ******, Levitra, etc). I did see a couple meds I take for high blood pressure and cholesterol. I was tempted to purchase some but was weary, so I did not.

I also seen prescription meds for sale in other Caribbean ports of call.

I have heard conflicting advice and opinions about buying such prescription medicine in Cozumel and other ports of call, visited by cruise ships. One of the sales experts (who puts on those shopping advice shows onboard the cruise ship), told me do not purchase those Rx meds. I remember, in the past, that a member here told us he/she frequently did purchase Rx meds there, and they were perfectly safe and the saved money compared to buying them at home.

So what are your opinions with regard to purchasing prescription medication in Cozumel, and other ports of call, while on a cruise?

Dave 03-09-2010 03:08 PM

Here's the deal:

Is Buying Drugs in Mexico Illegal Under U.S. Laws?

The interstate shipment, including importation, of unapproved new drugs is prohibited in the U.S. "Unapproved" drugs are any medicines that have not received the FDA's approval and include foreign-made versions of U.S.-approved drugs.

Controlled substances including, but not limited to, tranquilizers and pain killers, are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In either case, the import of a personal supply of any drug brought over the border must be declared to U.S. Customs, and you should have a valid prescription from a U.S doctor with you. The prescription must be in your own name.

Is Buying Drugs in Mexico Illegal Under Mexican Laws?

Some drugs, including controlled substances, may not be purchased in Mexico without a valid prescription from a Mexican doctor. Other laws may also apply.

Then there is the question of "what about Mexican citizens who have legally bought their drugs and then came to the U.S.?" That should be no different than my going to Mexico with my own prescribed meds.

Bottom line is, it probably isn't worth the hassle and how do you know for sure that a pharmacy will be on the up and up? They could have one brand of drugs for tourists (the unreliable stuff) and another set for locals. I dont know, other than I would not bother with it.

macmom111 03-09-2010 03:13 PM

alot of people buy their meds there. If you are going to belieze there is a pharmacy there that is ran by an American pharmacist. She trained in America. If you go to Belieze you may want to go to that pharmacy...

Frase 03-09-2010 10:47 PM

Thank you Dave and MacMom for your replies.

MacMom, do you happen to remember the name of that pharmacy (run by an American pharmacist) in Belize?

macmom111 03-10-2010 06:32 AM

take the tender into belize, you will be in a fenced in area, look for the sign that says pharmacia. there are lots of shops there but it is very easy to find. also most of the prices for the meds are posted outside the pharmacia.

pink845 03-10-2010 07:13 PM

Dear Fraze,

This Pharmacia has cleaned up their act a tad this year. We happened to drop by the pharmacy this past February (my disgusted by the sight of major meds being sold the way they are in these countries). You want to know why certain illnesses are of the SuperBUg variety, there is your answer, people buying antibiodics for illness that do not need treatment by antibodics. Anyhow, now most of the major meds are behind the counter. You still can buy them no problem at all but at least not within hand reach of the average lay person. The issue in previous years where we have seen these pharmacias is that the drugs are exposed to heat and lord knows how long they have been sitting on those hot shelves. If you value your life, stay away from buying drugs in these places.

macmom111 03-11-2010 06:17 AM

the pharmacia in belize is indoors, very nice, clean, looks alot like an american pharmacy. it would be the only one I would consider buy from.

pink845 03-11-2010 11:23 AM

I guess the issue to put forth here and then maybe we can close this thread is that Belize is a third world country and CDNS and US travellers have no government protection when it comes to the Rx medications purchased. If there was ever a recall of the Rx meds purchased from Belize or Costa Maya (another spot where there is a big Pharmacia that caters to the tourists), you would never know would you??? I do not keep tabs on the newswires of these countries after I have come and gone. Is saving a few bucks really worth the risk. The Belize spot is now a little less congested than it used to be but I still did see on the shelves at quick glance ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and erythromycin sitting pretty in clear little bottles. Hmmmm. These Rx meds should be better protected in darkened blue or brown bottles against sunlight. You would hate to be buying Rx meds that have lost their potency now because of exposure to sunlight. Just some food for thought.

macmom111 03-12-2010 07:59 AM

you seem to to be a bit more educated on this then I am, I bought things I could buy over the counter in america, except for a z pack.
I am not saying to do it on way or the other. I myself would have no problem what so ever buying them in Belize, but that is just me, it is a personal choice.

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