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Shipping medicines or mail prescription drugs are indeed complicated and need to be rigidly controlled. Any problem you encounter with your shipping directly impacts your reputation. There are several regulations when you are shipping any prescription drugs which might differ with shipping carriers as well as countries.
Most of the time it happens that someone you know might be replenished of some prescription drugs and it is hard to obtain this medicine in their area. In such cases, you might want to send these prescription drugs to their location. But again how to mail the prescription drugs without hampering the quality is something, which requires good research. Mailing prescription drugs is something that has several pitfalls in the US, which you may need to be aware of.
To ship prescription drugs, it is important to know the Federal and state laws beforehand. Learn how to do the same using this comprehensive guide legally and safely.
Can You Send Prescription Drugs in the Mail?
Are you registered with Drug Enforcement Administrations or DEA?
If not, then get it done, if you want to mail prescription drugs. Even though there are some exemptions in DEA registration when it comes to active military, civil defense, or law enforcement. They are allowed to mail without being registered with DEA.
Another exemption that is allowed is when you are shipping the medicine back to the manufacturer owing to an error in dispensing the drugs in the prescription or a result of any recall.
Hence, if you follow the rules and regulations you can mail prescription drugs using popular shipping services like USPS, UPS and FedEx. To stay on the safer side, it is important to know all about the shipping drugs and the laws of the countries as per the federal regulations.
What are the different types of drugs?
Drugs can be classified as the following types as per the shipping carriers:
Prescription drugs: These are drugs that are not available without a written order from a licensed medical professional.
Over-the-counter drugs: The drugs that are available at the retail store without any prescription are termed as over-the-counter drugs.
Controlled substances: These are mostly the ones that are tightly controlled by the federal government. Some controlled items can be mailed by following the regulations strictly. And some of them are not permitted to be mailed.
What is the Penalty for Mailing Prescription Drugs?
As per the US laws, there are certain penalties for mailing prescription drugs. These again directly depend on what kind of drugs you mailed and your resident country. For example in California, you might be sentenced to jail for almost 1 to 5 years for mailing prescription drugs if the prescription is forged. Also, some laws forbid the selling of these prescription medications outside the borders.
Every country has its own rules and regulations when shipping and importing prescription drugs. If you are shipping the same, you need to abide by all the rules mentioned by the Federal laws.
How to Send Prescription Drugs Through the Mail
As said above, the major hurdle in sending prescription drugs via mail is to know all the rules that govern it. Let us take a look at a few of the things we need to follow while shipping them legally:
- Visit the corresponding shipping service website to know and learn about the details on shipping such medical contents.
- Read and understand the rules and regulations of your resident country as well as the recipient country to distinguish what is legal.
- Familiarize yourself with the codes that are used for shipping these prescription drugs.
- Remember to follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 as well as other federal laws and local regulations.
- When packaging ensure the labels are correct and also addressed to the recipient. Like for example if someone is returning the package to the manufacturer, ensure that they are labeled correctly.
Adhering to these rules and regulations will help you mail the prescription drugs without any hassles.
Sending Prescription drugs through FedEx
While sending prescription drugs through FedEx there are a lot many rules and regulations to be followed which are mentioned in the FedEx shipping service pages. Even though there are restrictions imposed, following these guidelines imposed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and being registered with them will help you to ship prescription drugs effectively.
- The drugs that are for personal use must be Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.
- The prescription drugs manufactured in the US can only be returned to the manufacturer following the guidelines as per FedEx shipping.
- Required documents must be affixed and sent along with the prescription drugs to be shipped.
- A copy of a valid doctor’s prescription.
- Recipients licensed doctor’s address details, phone number, etc.
- Drug manufacturer’s name and address.
- The form of medicines like capsules, liquid, tablet, etc. and their dosage.
- Quantity and type of packaging.
- The medical condition for which the treatment is conducted. Also, if the medicine can be purchased at the destination location.
- Copy of the passport for the non-resident consignee.
- The drugs can be limited to a 90-day supply.
Sending Prescription drugs through UPS
When shipping pharmaceuticals or prescription drugs through UPS you need to ensure that no spoilage is happening. Even you need to maintain cold compliance for temperature-sensitive items and several other challenges. Follow these steps to successfully ship the same:
- Check with the UPS expert assistance to help you ship the prescription drugs.
- Follow all the FDA and DEA rules and regulations strictly while shipping Hazardous Materials or Dangerous Goods Regulations, depending upon the mode of transport.
- Ensure you adhere to the storage and distribution of drug practices which can be found at United State Pharmacopeia USP 1079.
- Maintain the required temperature for keeping the drugs safe and cool as mentioned in the CFR211. Remember too much cold is equivalently harmful like hot.
- User temperature-controlled packing as provided by UPS Cold Chain Solutions.
- Track and monitor your shipments.
- To pack you can make use of Temperature-controlled packaging, a Refrigerant, Cushioning material and a Temperature-monitoring device.
- Pack liquid items in watertight receptacles and also surround it with absorbent material. You can seal the package in a plastic bag and then insert it into an outer pack.
Sending Prescription drugs through USPS
USPS is one of the oldest shipping carriers who are exceptional in their services. Here are some guidelines to follow while sending prescription drugs through USPS especially when they fall in the controlled substances category:
- The sender as well the recipient must be registered under the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
- Comply with the US laws and regulations well as the Postal service regulation.
- Pack the items securely and mark it accurately.
- Rules for Packaging the Drugs
You can read more about the USPS rules and regulations on their website.
How to ensure that your items fall in the right category of shipping of restricted items and need to adhere to the rules and regulations while shipping from your store?
In your WooCommerce store, you can go to individual product settings and then ensure that you are categorizing these products accurately as shown in the image below:
After you categorize the same at the product level, when you are shipping with USPS /FedEx/UPS or even DHL, you can separate them from the rest of the items to be packed. Here to demonstrate we use the ELEX EasyPost Shipping plugin wherein you can also label them individually while shipping using the specific Package Settings and Label Generation Settings in the plugin without much hassle.
The package settings in the plugin will let you pack the items in individual boxes as per your choice. To do this the store owner can set the packaging settings as shown below:
You can label them efficiently and then ship it. Suppose you are shipping with dry ice, you can also do similar settings in the plugin to effectively ship the items that need dry ice while shipping.
Mailing Prescription Drugs: Be Sure you Know the Laws
Shipping drugs to any part of the world using popular shipping carriers is made easy when you are strictly following Federal laws and local rules. It is important to follow these rules to ensure that you don’t disrupt the harmony of the sender and recipient countries. Moreover, if you do not want to get your packages to be stuck at the customs you need to follow the rules.
- What You Should Do When Your Shipment Is Stuck At Customs?
- All about USPS Shipping Restrictions and Prohibited Items
- How to identify dangerous and prohibited goods while shipping through Australia Post on your WooCommerce Store
- How to identify Prohibited and Counterfeit goods to avoid shipping hassles with DHL