Sending Medicines from India to US: Know Before You Ship

Traveling to the USA from India? You might be wondering, "Can I send prescription medicine to the USA?" The answer is yes, but with some important caveats.

Considering DHL or Other Courier Services?

Services like Garuda Vega (using DHL) or those specializing in prescriptions exist. However, these options come with challenges, especially for short-term needs.

Why Avoid DHL for Short Stays?

Here's the catch: DHL and similar services often trigger extensive customs checks by US import authorities. This can lead to delays, as happened in my case. My shipment of diabetic, BP, and heart medication (just a 30-day supply!) got stuck in Ohio customs for 9 days due to these checks. Multiple calls, documents, and fees later, it finally arrived - a stressful experience for a short-term need.

The Simpler Solution: Get Medications Locally

For short stays, getting medications locally is the better option. Here's how:

Schedule a Doctor's Appointment: Bring your Indian prescription to a doctor (PCP, clinic, urgent care, Amazon clinic, kHealth). They can verify its authenticity, run quick tests, and prescribe the same medication or provide a new one.

Fill the Prescription: Use the new prescription at a pharmacy or leverage apps like CostPlus Drugs.

Yes, it might be more expensive, especially without insurance. But for short stays (think 2 weeks), it's the most hassle-free and time-saving approach.

Avoid Costly Miscalculations:

Shipping costs can be deceiving. In my case, the medicine itself cost ₹2,044, but the courier service charged ₹2,950 for a half kg shipment. To top it off, customs hit me with a $31 import fee! Forget the myth that customs forms are only needed for items over $2,000. I had to fill out detailed forms with medicine specifics, value, quantity, usage period, along with a passport copy, and sometimes even an SSN/W2 copy.

The Takeaway: Skip the shipping hassle and potential delays. Getting medications locally in the USA is a smoother and less expensive option for short-term needs.

Also, if you wonder how to contact DHL imports department to follow up or get status on customs clearance. Do not contact the regular DHL customer care number as they would tell you exactly the same info that you find online. Instead call DHL imports department direct using +1-866-600-0014.



Recent Posts

  1. H1B to B2 to H1B Journey
  2. Carry Euros or Use Your U
  3. Parents traveling to the
  4. Dropbox location
  5. Steps after Greencard