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Most Popular Questions

Are prescription drugs obtained outside the U.S. eligible for reimbursement?

In most cases, no. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries is illegal.

However, there is one exception. If the FDA has approved the importation of prescription medicine into the U.S. under the "Compassionate Use Act", it may be an eligible expense. You must include the following information when submitting a claim for imported prescription drugs that fall under the Compassionate Use Act:

  • The date of purchase
  • The cost of the prescription drug
  • The name of the prescription drug
  • If prescribed in the U.S.: the name and address of the prescribing physician
  • If initially prescribed in a foreign country: the name of the country, name and address of the prescribing physician and evidence that the drug is for the continuation of a treatment begun in that foreign country.
  • A copy of the FDA document that authorizes importation of the prescription drug

As a general rule, the FDA guidelines recommend that the purchase be no more than a three-month supply. The prescription drug must be legal for sale in the country of purchase and recommended for treatment of a serious condition for which effective treatment may not be available in the U.S.

For all other drugs purchased outside the U.S., the IRS will not allow reimbursement for these purchases from FSAs.