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Maine allows importation of mail order prescription drugs

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6159 (Published 11 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6159
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Residents of Maine can now order drugs from foreign pharmacies under a new state law that is the first of its kind in the United States.

The law, which went into effect on Wednesday 9 October, allows state residents to obtain prescriptions by mail order from pharmacies in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

Americans typically pay some of the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and for years many people have taken to ordering drugs by mail from countries where prices are lower, especially Canada.

Although the practice violates federal law, federal authorities have rarely gone after consumers who purchased …

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