My dad is visiting Toronto from the US and unfortunately during his trip last week he fell and fractured his hip. He had a kidney transplant 3 years ago so he takes anti-rejection meds for it. He has enough for 2 more weeks (which is when he originally was supposed to return), but due to rehab, he will have to extend his stay. His medicine refill was ready yesterday and is here in the US.

I don't think his doc will prescribe it to him again for a doc in Canada because it's an expensive medicine and not available everywhere, and he's also not covered in Canada for meds. I called FedEx International and the CSR said no, but didn't sound like she knew too much.

Am I allowed to send this via FedEx or is there any other way I can get it to him?

  • 1
    @DavidRicherby There are existing open questions along the same vein, two examples. Getting a package from the US while travelling through South Europe & Can I carry one year medicine of Hypertension while travelling from India to Canada? in this case the dad is traveling, and the mail supports his travels. Jul 15, 2019 at 15:48
  • @JamesJenkins The first question you link is, essentially, about how to receive a parcel while travelling; the second is about travelling with medication. Your question is purely about whether it's legal to send medicine in a parcel to Canada. Jul 15, 2019 at 15:57
  • Would you hire a courier to carry it or bring him personally his medicine? It seems legal (the person will have the prescription on him). I don't know how far from Toronto you are located, but it's a one time expense. Jul 15, 2019 at 16:30
  • 1
    OK, that looks reasonable now. In a situation this urgent, though, why are you speculating about what you think your father's doctor will do instead of actually talking to him/her? Jul 16, 2019 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


It seems to be legal to send medication to visitors in Canada, under the circumstances you specified, but I'm currently unsure which company will actually do so. If all else fails, I suggest contacting the US embassy in Canada for specific recommendations.

Visitors to Canada: Visitors to Canada may bring into Canada, on their person a single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a prescription drug.

The drug must be for the individual's own personal use, for the use of a person for whom they are responsible and with whom they are travelling.

The drug must be shipped/carried in one of the following: Hospital or pharmacy dispensed packaging; Original retail packaging; or have the original label affixed to it which clearly indicates what the health product is and what it contains. A Visitor may import an additional single unit, single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a prescription drug. When a prescription drug is mailed to a Visitor, the drug should be accompanied by some form of documentation indicating that the drug is destined to a Visitor and/or the Visitor should be prepared to provide documentation/written evidence (stamped passport, student/work visa, letter from an employer/university etc) that they are a Visitor to Canada when requested.



Tourist Importing Prescribed Medication to Canada

Visitors to Canada may import into Canada, a single course of treatment or up to 90 days’ supply based on the directions for use. The doctor’s prescription must be attached to the package. If you intend to import to Canada prescribed medicine, please note:

  1. [...]

  2. [...]

  3. [...]

  4. Receiving prescribed medication in the mail When the medication has arrived and cleared by customs, you will receive a written notification at the address indicated on the package. The carrier notification will inform you where you should go to receive your mail. To pick up your mail, present valid identification to prove that you are a tourist, such as a passport stamp, Canadian tourist/student visa, letter from Canadian school /or employer.



Health Canada prohibits the importation of prescription drugs by courier when imported by Canadian residents for personal use.

The importation of prescription drugs for human use is strictly regulated and is only permitted by certain entities. Under Section C.01.045 of the Food and Drug Regulations, the importation of Schedule F (prescription) drugs is restricted to a drug manufacturer, a registered pharmacist, a wholesale druggist, a practitioner or a resident of a foreign country while a visitor in Canada.

Please note that specific criteria must be met for visitors importing prescription drugs. Also, at Health Canada's discretion, exceptions may be made for Canadian residents returning from abroad who are on a course of treatment and carry the prescription drugs with them upon re-entry into Canada. https://www.fedex.com/en-ca/shipping-services/international/regulatory/prescription-reminder.html

  • 3
    You can just drop off a box with USPS. They won't check the contents before mailing it, although Canadian customs will likely inspect the box.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 15, 2019 at 18:48
  • I wonder how you are supposed to prove that you are a tourist from the US, since you almost certainly wouldn't have a visa, and Canada doesn't stamp US passports. Jul 15, 2019 at 20:27
  • 3
    @DavidBrown, I would think a US passport would do the trick, same as it does at the border.
    – Martha
    Jul 15, 2019 at 21:34
  • oh wow, good to know. Thanks. I had read the original link, but I completely missed bullet #4. Marked this as the answer. I'm new to stackexchange so I'm not sure if I need to do anything else besides put the green checkmark!
    – Joey
    Jul 15, 2019 at 23:34

The customer service representative at FedEx had it right. Health Canada only allows specific entities to import prescription drugs. Source

Your father would have been allowed to take up to 90 days supply with him, but he cannot import more drugs now that he's there.

He would appear to have two options: find a Canadian doctor who can prescribe the medication, and buy it locally; or return to the USA and continue his rehabilitation at home.

This is why one should always carry appropriate insurance for foreign travel.

  • 3
    Even with good travel insurance, it is best to carry extra prescription medication beyond the planned stay. That way there is time to get another prescription even if there is a problem on the last day. Jul 15, 2019 at 6:06
  • 3
    Thanks to both of you. The problem with extra medication is that medicare only provides it one month supply at a time. He's tried to get more before, but they said he would have to pay out of pocket which is pretty expensive for this type of medicine.
    – Joey
    Jul 15, 2019 at 9:22
  • 28
    canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/… (a document linked from the page you linked) says he can import more: A Visitor may import an additional single unit, single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a prescription drug. When a prescription drug is mailed to a Visitor, the drug should be accompanied by some form of documentation [...] (follow link for more).
    – etarion
    Jul 15, 2019 at 11:15
  • 11
    This answer is wrong, as detailed in the original source. Visitors are allowed to import additional medication. (Though FedEx may not be willing to serve as the courier.)
    – Sneftel
    Jul 15, 2019 at 11:26
  • 7
    @etarion This should be an answer, not a comment.
    – Pyritie
    Jul 15, 2019 at 14:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .