Are you an NRI looking to order medicines from India? We’ve spoken to an experienced international courier to create this full guide to delivery of medication from India to the USA, the UK, Europe, Singapore and Australia.
Most common questions asked by NRIs
- Are liquid medicines allowed for shipping from India to other countries?
Yes, but they have to be sealed and packed properly to avoid leakage.
- Are homoeopathy medicines allowed?
Yes, both pills and liquids. You will need to demonstrate a doctor’s prescription and a purchase bill.
- Are OTC drugs allowed without prescription?
Yes, a prescription is not compulsory but a purchase bill is required.
- What quantity of medicine can be sent?
Medicines can be sent for 90 days (3 months) but no more than 270 tablets are allowed. Make sure you calculate how many tables you have in case a medicine is prescribed to take three times a day. The maximum cost of medicines should be below Rs 25,000.
Country-specific rules when ordering medicines from India
- The USA only allows medicines that are FDA approved.
- A Canadian citizen cannot receive medicines from outside Canada.
- If medicines are being sent to Australia or New Zealand, a prescription from an Australian or New Zealand doctor is required (respectively).
- If medicines are being sent to Gulf countries, permission is to be taken from the recipient country’s Health ministry.
A checklist for NRIs: What do you need to order medicines from India?
Based on our experience of shipping medicines for the elderly and NRIs from early 2020 to the USA, UK, Singapore, and Europe, here are some pointers that could help you avoid delays and get your medicines on time. If you want ParentCare to arrange a medication delivery for you, please use our free WhatsApp chatbot.
Updated prescription — not older than 3 months
A prescription, not older than 3 months, is needed. The Indian customs will check the doctor’s name, address, and also the stamp on the prescription [yes, we understand that in today’s e-prescription world, this may sound outdated].
You can ask your Indian doctor to send you an updated prescription or book an online consultation with a GP in India to arrange a new prescription. Do ask the doctor to give names of alternative medicines as well; in case the first preference is not available.
Medicines stock for 3 months are allowed
You can import only 3 months of medicine stock currently.
But please ensure you check the regulations in your host country as well. Please note that the Indian courier companies will not be able to share much information on this.
You can request a family member or a friend to be the sender. What is required is a copy of the Aadhar card, address, and phone number [random calls from customs on the sender’s phone number is not a surprise]. Some of the courier companies would also ask for a PAN card copy as well.
Normally not asked but in some countries it is important to share visa and passport details of the receiver; especially in the Middle East.
Do keep a realistic time frame to receive the medicines, taking into account the reduction in air traffic globally and the slowdown in processes due to COVID-19 precautions.
Pharmacy medicine bill
Please ensure that the original pharmacy bill comes with the medicines’ parcel.
Make sure you check the import duty and customs process in the host country before ordering the medicines – it should not be a huge amount.
We helped arrange shipment of liquid medicines from India to Aruba, an island in the Caribbean Sea and a constituent country of the Netherlands. The import duty there was more than the cost of the medicines, but the family needed the medicines urgently.