Foreigners who come to the U.S. for the first time often don’t know how to buy health and care products and medicines in American pharmacies. Actually, the American pharmaceutical system is slightly different from those in other countries. So it’s no surprise that newcomers get confused. However, there is nothing too complicated. If you know the rules, you’ll be able to buy the necessary medications without any problems. Of course, this information pertains mostly to the citizens of the United States.
General Info About Pharmacies in the U.S.
In America, you can hear different names – a pharmacy or a drugstore. In fact, they are synonymous – both of them are used to describe a place where drugs and associated goods are sold. There are some major, pharmacy chains in the country, such as Walgreen’s, CVS, and some others. They have both traditional (brick-and-morter) and online stores. Online pharmacies belonging to these chains are legal and work in a full compliance with American laws. So if you need to buy a medication, for example, Cialis online safely, you can use these drugstores safely. Apart from them, there are numerous, private-owned, small and big drugstores throughout the country.
Interestingly enough, American pharmacies sell not only medications but also health & care products. In a typical, American drugstore, one will find a variety of goods – from cosmetics and jewelry to cigarettes! More than that, many of them offer various services, such as picture printing.
Basic Rules of Drug Sales in Pharmacies
All the drugs in the U.S. are divided into two big categories – Rx (prescription) drugs and OTC (over-the-counter) drugs. To buy Rx meds, you need a prescription from a doctor. OTC meds are sold without any prescriptions. The list of OTC medicines in the U.S. is rather short, much shorter than in most other countries. It includes mainly inexpensive drugs with a relatively weak effect. For example, these are drugs for the common cold or allergies. More serious medicines, even those ones which are available OTC in other countries, are not sold without a prescription. For example, you won’t find Сialis for sale or female, oral contraceptives.
How to Buy Prescription Drugs in the U.S.
If you are going to visit America, you should know that most pharmacies located in the territory of this country do not accept prescriptions issued by foreign health specialists. A prescription should be signed up by a practicing physician who has an American Medical Practice License. If you need to take a particular drug regularly, you’d better have a supply of this drug when visiting the U.S. By the way, American prescriptions are printed on a special, security paper, so it is quite a task to falsify or imitate them.
If you have a proper, valid prescription on hand, you can go to a pharmacy and buy your drug. But don’t expect that you’ll get it immediately. Prescription meds here are not sold in their original packaging but are filled in special bottles right in the pharmacy. It usually takes 15-30 minutes. The bottles are individual: each one contains information about the pharmacy, a doctor who prescribed the drug, and the patient. Together with a bottle, they give detailed instructions, which contain comprehensive information about the medicine. For example, when you buy Cialis, you don’t need to search for any info – your personal instructions will contain data about the dose, frequency of usage, duration of the course, Cialis side effects, and so forth. It’s rather convenient.
Drugs and health care products are the final sales in America as well as in other countries. It means that once you’ve bought medicine, you can’t return it to a pharmacy or exchange it for something else. If the medicine doesn’t suit you, or the side effects are too severe, you’ll need to go to a doctor for a new prescription.