Using Foreign Drugs

September 1, 2008

Am I legally able to use a drug product manufactured abroad? Have there been any prosecutions and/or sanctions implemented to date? If I can purchase products at a discount and be assured of the source and the “equal” quality of the product so the only difference is the labeling, I would like to do so.I do not care what people think; I care about treating patients as safely and efficiently as possible. For too long the medical profession has let the lawyers screw with us. If there is no state or law, then we (medical practices) should tell them to stop with the rhetoric.

Question: Am I legally able to use a drug product manufactured abroad? Have there been any prosecutions and/or sanctions implemented to date? If I can purchase products at a discount and be assured of the source and the “equal” quality of the product so the only difference is the labeling, I would like to do so.

I do not care what people think; I care about treating patients as safely and efficiently as possible. For too long the medical profession has let the lawyers screw with us. If there is no state or law, then we (medical practices) should tell them to stop with the rhetoric.

Answer: It is illegal to import drugs. Read a summary of the legal and regulatory territory in the CRS Report for Congress.

Now, as to whether anybody will come after you, I don’t know. But I should think you’d want to take FDA claims that foreign drugs may not meet safety requirements seriously. Heaven knows the FDA has its problems, but there is no other way to know about the safety of a given product or how it has been stored or transported.