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How to send medicines from India to USA

A young pharmacist in a pharmacy

Given the number of times this question gets raised it should feature into the FAQ section of any courier company’s website in India. Let’s get straight to the point.

Is international medicine courier to US allowed and if so what are the procedures?                        

The short answer to this question is yes. Having said that, medicines are restricted items and there are certain terms and conditions attached while sending medicines to the US and it also involves some additional documentation.

The reason why medicines are considered as restricted is because, according to the US FDA or the food
and drug administration:

“In most cases, it’s illegal for people to import drugs into the United States for personal use. That’s
because drugs available in other countries haven’t been evaluated or approved by FDA for use or sale in
the U.S., so we can’t ensure that they’re safe and effective. FDA generally considers such drugs unapproved.”

However the FDA allows certain exemptions when it comes to import of medicines for personal use. The FDA takes into consideration the following factors at the time of reviewing an application:                                                                                     

  • There is no marketing or promotion of the drug to U.S. residents. Meaning not for the purpose of resale.
  • The drug doesn’t represent an unreasonable health risk.
  • You verify in writing that you’re importing the drug for your own personal use. Strictly for personal non commercial use.
  • You have a letter, written in English, from your doctor saying the drug is a continuation of treatment that began outside the United States or you provide the name and address of a U.S. licensed physician who will supervise your use of the foreign drug. The letter should accompany the package and be addressed to a Customs and Border Protection officer or broker.
  • You’re not importing more than a three-month supply of the drug.
  • The drug is for a serious condition for which currently there is no effective treatment available in the U.S.

International medicine courier from India to US requires the following documents.

  1. Doctors prescription –Original required
  2. Medicine purchase bill-Original required
  3. ID proof of the sender and receiver
  4. Declaration

Please note, these are minimum required documents. Your carrier may ask for additional documentations.

Medicine courier from India to USA-Here’s what you need to do first:

Get in touch with the shipping team at your courier company. Discuss with them the medicines that you want to send. It’s better to purchase medicines after that to avoid the pain of returning the medicines back to the pharmacy in case the medicines that you want to send cannot be send. After you purchase the medicines, keep these documents and any additional document that your courier wants you to provide ready so that they can process your shipment.

“Consulting your courier company prior to buying the medicines help you to avoid the pain of returning it, in case the medicines that you want to send cannot be shipped”

Points to remember:

  • Not all medicines are allowed to be send
  • Quantity of medicines should not be for more than 3 months of use
  • Packages containing medicines might attract additional destination charges/duties at the time of clearing
  • Could take longer than usual for delivery
  • Courier charges for packages containing medicines is usually more

Given above are some of the key points to remember if you are looking at doing a medicine courier from India to USA. The last point is important. The low price of a medicine in India compared to USA should not be the only reason why you are sending it. That’s because medicine courier charges from India to USA is not cheap and in most cases is likely to eliminate any savings that you might get by buying medicine from India due to the high medicine courier charges from India to USA. The reason why courier companies charge you more is because it cost them more to ship a package containing medicines due to additional procedures, documentations and other reasons. Because of this reason companies offering cheap courier from India to USA usually don’t offer medicine courier services and it is in your best interest not to entrust your medicine package to companies offering cheap courier from India to USA. To conclude with, medicine courier from India to USA is possible but would cost you more, might take longer to deliver and involves additional documentation. Entrust your package with a carrier having good experience in medicine courier from India to USA.


With Shipbuz, sending international courier from India to USA is now easier than before. Based out from Bangalore, Shipbuz offers one of the best international courier services to USA with all India pick up. Shipbuz works with some of the leading international carriers and has got the expertise, resources and commitment to make shipping from India consistently fast, reliable and cost effective.


Can medicines be sent from India to USA? How can I get prescription drugs from India to USA?

Yes medicines can be sent from India to USA. However not all medicines can be sent and there are restrictions in terms of the quantity of medicines that can be sent. All medicines sent from India to USA require a valid prescription which you can obtain from your physician.