Meds are NOT ALWAYS Cheaper in CR...




Everybody says that medicines and drugs purchased in Costa Rica are significantly less expensive than those purchased in the U.S. or Canada.  Well let me state quite emphatically, that is NOT always the case.

Since moving to the beach, our dog Úpe has developed a severe skin rash that causes her to scratch continually for hours at a time.  Her scratching turn into infected sores just makes her life miserable and must be treated with antibiotics. 

Our veterinarian has determined that Úpe is suffering from Canine Atopy, a form of chronic seasonal allergy and prescribed a medication called Loratadina (generic name Loratadine).  The vet told us that Úpe will probably need to take this medicine for the rest of her life. 

After leaving the vet's office, we went to the local Farmácia where we bought a one month supply, 90 pills.  Loratadina comes in blister packs, 30 (10mg pills) per box and we needed 3 boxes at a cost of 55.000 per month.  At today's exchange rate that is going to set us back $110 each month!

So I jumped on the Internet and lo and behold, Loratadine is also know as Claritin.  Who da thunk!  I can now buy the generic equivalent here in Costa Rica for around $80 a month.   Okay, this is not quite what I was expecting by way of savings so I kept on checking. 

I found that original OTC Claritin can be purchased online through for only $7.42 for 60 pills.  That was a huge savings.  But as I looked a little further I struck gold. sells a box of 360 pills for only $12.12.  That's a month supply!



$10.80 PER MONTH


Buying Medications From Outside Costa Rica...

So what good does it do knowing you can save a boat load of money by buying your meds online.  You now have to get the meds here.  It's not that simple.

  • You can't legally ship medications into Costa Rica without it going through Customs (Aduana).  Once Aduana gets their hands on it, you will be required to pay a hefty duty as well as produce a mountain of paperwork before the meds are finally sent to you.

  • Many drug companies or resellers (like Amazon) will not ship to a foreign address. 

  • Even if you ship your meds to a mail forwarding service, your package will still have to make the trip through Aduana before they are sent to you

This is where your mule network really shines.  By ordering your medications online, ship the product to a friend or relative who will be visiting Costa Rica.  Bringing in product like this is perfectly legal provides it is being used for personal use. 

We are using this method for not just this particular med but OTC drugs like Aleve, Advil, Tylenol, Contact, and Benadryl.  We are also getting Vitamins and other pet products like specialty shampoos and K9-Advantix Flea & Tick drops.  The process you pay in the U.S. are a fraction of what we pay here in Costa Rica.

I'm can't say this applies to all medications but it does warrant you spending a little time checking out alternative prices and methods of delivery.





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