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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am concerned about getting the same meds in Mexico that I use in the U.S. I don't take any controlled substances, but I do take meds that are vital (i.e., I take a med for insomnia and without it I don't sleep - not good!)

Can anyone tell me how I can find out if these meds are available in Mexico and what I will need to do to get them? I have my prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart here in the states and I know there are Wal-Marts in the Guadalajara/Lake Chapala area but that doesn't mean they will have the same drugs available as the Wal-Marts here - right?

Thank you so much for your help. I've been all over the internet trying to get some information on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Meds in Mexico

Send me the generic name of the medication and I'll ask at a local pharmacy, or even at WalMart.
I take the following - I'm really very health, just have insomnia and arthritis, even though there are several meds!

1. hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

2. mirtazapine (Remeron)

3. citalopram (Celexa)

Thank you so much. You are going above and beyond!!!
 

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I take the following - I'm really very health, just have insomnia and arthritis, even though there are several meds!

1. hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

2. mirtazapine (Remeron)

3. citalopram (Celexa)

Thank you so much. You are going above and beyond!!!
I only went to one pharmacy to check. Farmacia Express II in San Antonio Tlayacapan east of Ajijic on Lake Chapala. The paterfamilia (viejito) was busy with a supplier, so he was a little brusque with me today (and he knew I wasn't buying anything). They have all three meds. He asked me questions about dosage, especially for the benzodiazepine citalopram. Of course I didn't know but asked him for the price of a representative dose for a month. The prices were:
1. 300 pesos for 20, so about 450 a month it would seem
2. 430 pesos for 30
3. 640 pesos for 30

So you are looking at somewhere around $130 USD per month from this one farmacia. Prices vary widely from place to place and from generic brand to generic brand where generics are available. But this one place has all three, no problema.
 

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prescription drugs

Hi, I am not sure I can help since I live in Playa del Carmen, near Cancun. Prices are probably somewhat higher in that this area is strictly for tourist.

My husband and I both take medications for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholestrol. We have not found anything that comes close to the walmart prices in the states. And as to the walmart in Playa, yes they do have a generic program but the meds are very limited and the dosage and the number of pills make it really impossible for us or in the long run still much higher than the states.

example-40 mg of provastatin(30)pills at walmart in the states $4

I can only get 20 mg of provastain with only 15 pills -so I have to double both from the walmart in Playa

we both take provastatin-so our price goes from $8 a month to $32 a month

we have actually brought a years worth down at a time. We are fortunate

because our daughter pays for a ticket for me to go back to the states every 3 months.

also some of the generic drugs sold in mexico are from India. Not saying they arent the same, just wanted to point that out.

Hope this helps
 

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Simvastatina is the generic statin that you may request and it is the active statin in the brand name cholesterol medications that most use. It is available in 80mg tablets, blister packed by the manufacturer, and is more economical that way. A pill cutter can be used to cut them in half for 40mg or quarters for 20mg doses. I've never had a problem with generic medications in eight years here, and I do take several. Another, that is almost free, is furosamida, available at Walmart for about 8 pesos per twenty 40mg tablets; it is identical to Lasix at many times the price.
 

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meds

Simvastatina is the generic statin that you may request and it is the active statin in the brand name cholesterol medications that most use. It is available in 80mg tablets, blister packed by the manufacturer, and is more economical that way. A pill cutter can be used to cut them in half for 40mg or quarters for 20mg doses. I've never had a problem with generic medications in eight years here, and I do take several. Another, that is almost free, is furosamida, available at Walmart for about 8 pesos per twenty 40mg tablets; it is identical to Lasix at many times the price.
I can check into the simvastatina but I have discovered at least in Playa meds just are not that cheap. However if I do run out of the pravastatin, then I will look into the simvastatina. Thanks for the info. Yes I did know abut the Lasix-thankfully I do not have to take that anymore-water pills scare me.
 

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Just wondering--if you have insurance for these drugs in the States, why don't you just have them shipped to you in Mexico. My husband and I do this. We have a mail service here, and we get all our drugs shipped to us from an internet provider. They come to us just fine. My husband is on Medicare, and I have Blue Cross. It is much cheaper than getting the drugs here in Mexico.
 

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Cathart,
Please note that it may not be that easy for everyone, and that enforcement of the laws differs from one area to another. Here, only Mail Boxes Etc. has the necessary government permits to receive medications. Using regular mail, US to Mexico, can result in confiscation of the medications by Mexican customs.

Welcome to the forum an I hope you enjoy it.
 

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Cathart,
Please note that it may not be that easy for everyone, and that enforcement of the laws differs from one area to another. Here, only Mail Boxes Etc. has the necessary government permits to receive medications. Using regular mail, US to Mexico, can result in confiscation of the medications by Mexican customs.
On a somewhat related topic, if (when?) my wife and move full-time to Mexico, my healthcare plan as a Canadian government retiree pays 80% of the cost of prescription drugs. I'm corresponding with the insurer now to confirm what documentation they will require, considering that all the drugs we currently take are available in Mexico without prescription, and the receipt you get from a farmacia is the same as the one you get for purchasing a candy bar.
I'm betting they will insist we provide a doctor's prescription each and every time, at a totally needless expense to us and to the medical plan. Another example, perhaps, of why the costs of medical care are so high everywhere.

I'm curious about purchasing prescription drugs over the Internet. Can it be done without a prescription? Maybe that's our "workaround" ?
 

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Walmart, Sam's, Costco, Mega, Soriana, and others, are fully computerized and the receipts show the medication purchased. In our case, we provide that, and add the National Drug Code number from the FDC website; yes, they require it even though the medication is purchased outside of the USA. We provided the first prescription only, then submit subsequent claims as 'refill'. After 'minimums', co-pay and other reasons for denial, we manage to get a small percentage of only the expensive medications. Most others cost less than the co-pay minimums established by our US insurer.
You could purchase online from Mexican providers, but they are more expensive than most of the local 'farmacias'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Prescription Meds In Mexico

Just wondering--if you have insurance for these drugs in the States, why don't you just have them shipped to you in Mexico. My husband and I do this. We have a mail service here, and we get all our drugs shipped to us from an internet provider. They come to us just fine. My husband is on Medicare, and I have Blue Cross. It is much cheaper than getting the drugs here in Mexico.
What internet provider do you use...I'm also coming from the states and will have Medicare beginning Oct. 4. I'm uncertain as to whether or not I should sign up for a prescription plan with Medicare because I don't know what alternatives might be cheaper.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Prescription Meds In Mexico

Cathart,
Please note that it may not be that easy for everyone, and that enforcement of the laws differs from one area to another. Here, only Mail Boxes Etc. has the necessary government permits to receive medications. Using regular mail, US to Mexico, can result in confiscation of the medications by Mexican customs.

Welcome to the forum an I hope you enjoy it.
How do I go about setting up an account with Mail Boxes Etc? Can I do it from the U.S., or do I need to wait until I get to Mexico?
 

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I don't know if MBE will set up an account by mail, but you could try contacting them by dialing 011-52-376-766-0647 and asking for details. The cost is about $400 USD per year and they charge very heavily for incoming packages; handling, shipping and customs duty. It is so expensive that it often is as much as the cost of the contents of the package. As such, most folks prefer to purchase locally.
 

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Can anyone tell me how I can find out if these meds are available in Mexico and what I will need to do to get them?
Drug companies are now international. If your drugs are from the U.S., you should have no trouble in getting them in Mexico.

I have my prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart here in the states and I know there are Wal-Marts in the Guadalajara/Lake Chapala area
Wal-Marts in the U.S. are owned by the surviving members of Sam Wall's family. Those in Mexico are owned by the Arango family under franchise. Wal-Mart is now an international franchise. They all follow basic precepts but you should *not* expect that everything will be uniform across the world. From my experience, the Wal-Marts here in Baja are not anything like the Wal-Marts in southern California. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they both expect their purveyors to carry all costs involved with distribution and sales.

that doesn't mean they will have the same drugs available as the Wal-Marts here - right?
Chances are that you will find your drugs at the local Wal-Mart regardless of its location. Prescription drugs are multinational; Wal-Mart is multinational. Pricing would be more of a local issue.

I've been all over the internet trying to get some information on this.
In Mexico, the Physicians' Desk Reference is known as the PLM-Thompson. I currently do not have sufficient standing on this board to give you its URL, so try Google.

Ever since the presidency of Ernesto Zedillo it has been more or less illegal to bring generic drugs into Mexico (meaning that they need to be manufactured here), but the issue is very much a political one and I don't want to open that can of worms right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pescription Meds in Mexico

I don't know if MBE will set up an account by mail, but you could try contacting them by dialing 011-52-376-766-0647 and asking for details. The cost is about $400 USD per year and they charge very heavily for incoming packages; handling, shipping and customs duty. It is so expensive that it often is as much as the cost of the contents of the package. As such, most folks prefer to purchase locally.
Thank you very much.
 

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I am concerned about getting the same meds in Mexico that I use in the U.S. I don't take any controlled substances, but I do take meds that are vital (i.e., I take a med for insomnia and without it I don't sleep - not good!)

Can anyone tell me how I can find out if these meds are available in Mexico and what I will need to do to get them? I have my prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart here in the states and I know there are Wal-Marts in the Guadalajara/Lake Chapala area but that doesn't mean they will have the same drugs available as the Wal-Marts here - right?

Thank you so much for your help. I've been all over the internet trying to get some information on this.
We have lived in Mexico for over ten years and have found that there is a Mexican equivalent for most of the prescription drugs you take in the U.S. You can find the name of them on the internet. You will need to visit a doctor (one time) to get the prescription, but the pharmacy gives the paper back so you can refill as needed. However, with a controlled substance such as sleeping medication, they stamp the prescription and generally you can refill it only three times. I know because I have insomnia too. Carefully check the box as some are packaged 10 to a box and some 30. Most legitimate pharmacies also give a discount (up to 30%). If they don't offer, ask for it. There are some pharmacies that will sell 'controlled substances' illegally without a prescription, but you will pay dearly for the medication; going to a doctor is cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Meds in Mexico

We have lived in Mexico for over ten years and have found that there is a Mexican equivalent for most of the prescription drugs you take in the U.S. You can find the name of them on the internet. You will need to visit a doctor (one time) to get the prescription, but the pharmacy gives the paper back so you can refill as needed. However, with a controlled substance such as sleeping medication, they stamp the prescription and generally you can refill it only three times. I know because I have insomnia too. Carefully check the box as some are packaged 10 to a box and some 30. Most legitimate pharmacies also give a discount (up to 30%). If they don't offer, ask for it. There are some pharmacies that will sell 'controlled substances' illegally without a prescription, but you will pay dearly for the medication; going to a doctor is cheaper.
Thank you so much. Do you have a particular pharmacy that you use? I'm living in Ajijic right now and will be for the next six months, but I don't mind going elsewhere if the meds will cost less.

Just to make sure I understand what you said...to purchase the prescription drugs I currently take I will need to see an MD to get a prescription...I do not take any controlled substances.

Thanks again.
 

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You have misinterpreted jdarbonne's post.
No, you do not need to see a physician for a prescription. That would only be necessary for controlled substances. Simply ask for the medication by it's brand name (more expensive) or the generic equivalent by using the appropriate name. For example: Lasix is furosomide/furosimida in Spanish. You may order 'simvastatina' instead of the various more expensive statins line Zocor, etc. Some things, still under patent, like Spiriva or Plavix, have no generic equivalent yet. We use Farmacia Similares for some generics, Chapala's Farmacia Ahuacatlan for others and for proprietary medicines. Sometimes we use Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club or Mega. Prices are close.
 

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Thank you so much. Do you have a particular pharmacy that you use? I'm living in Ajijic right now and will be for the next six months, but I don't mind going elsewhere if the meds will cost less.

Just to make sure I understand what you said...to purchase the prescription drugs I currently take I will need to see an MD to get a prescription...I do not take any controlled substances.

Thanks again.
Whether or not you need a prescription will depend upon the medication. You certainly can try to get the Mexican equivalent without one. Our experiences in Mexico have been that the prices at various pharmacies are quite similar unless you go to the "Farmacia Similares" for the generic; but we have also discovered they seldom have the medication we need. I can't specifically address Ajijic as we live in an area with fewer expats.
 
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