Medications Crossing the Border

Fall 2007 CSANews Issue 64  |   Posted date : Oct 17, 2007.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I thought that you would be interested in printing the enclosed information and, by finding out whether other seniors have experienced similar problems, take steps to enlist another voice on our side. Possibly Hon. Tony Clement, minister of health.

Predictably, there has been no reply from the Foreign Affairs Department.

Yours Truly,
Eric C. Jarvis

Hon. Peter Van Loan MP,
10-45 Gristmill,
Holland Landing, Ontario
L9N 1M7

Medication Holdup for Seniors


On a recent trip to Arizona, I was unfortunate to forget my medication (one tablet per day) for blood pressure from 3rd April - 11th May.

Not unduly concerned, I phoned my medication provider, Meditrust of Richmond Hill, 1-888-792-5667, to request a 45-day supply, which they sent, but which never arrived.

Then I phoned again, requesting overnight delivery, and the next day I was told that it was held up by U.S. Customs in Wilmington. There were further requests to send my passport information, my driver's licence number, my temporary address in Scottsdale, length of my stay in the U.S., and was given an assurance that it would be released within five days (wishful thinking).

Subsequently, our daughter was requested to send a fax of her green card and later, her social insurance number. She declined to send her income tax return. Eventually the tablets arrived on 9th May, two days before my return to Canada, and I did have one day of slurred speech.

Perhaps you could bring this letter to the attention of External Affairs, who may tell the U.S. secretary of state, who may discuss this with U.S. Customs. I shall ask that this letter be printed in the magazine of the Canadian Snowbirds Association as a warning to ALL Canadian seniors. Tony Clement MP is well aware of this organization. I would also ask that they print your reply.

I would like to thank you in advance for any help you can give in this matter, as in some cases, it could mean life or death for innocent seniors.

Yours truly,
Eric C Jarvis

Here is the reply that Mr. Jarvis received from his MP:

Dear Mr. Jarvis,

RE: U.S. Customs

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your experience with United States Customs. I appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention and I share your concern.
I have written to the Hon. Peter MacKay, minister of foreign affairs conveying your concerns.

I have asked that the Minister’s office respond to you directly.

Thank you again for your correspondence. By listening to my constituents, I am better able to deliver results to the residents of York-Simcoe. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact my office.

Yours truly,
Hon. Peter Van Loan, MP

Response :
This is the kind of personal action that helps every snowbird. It is just sad that we must wait to have these dangerous situations arise before we can get action. This is really a Provincial government issue, but it does require leadership and direction from the Federal government. Why would a province say it is OK to travel for 183 days but deny you the right to get more than 90 days of medication to take with you? This must be changed in every province and I, for one, would like to see the Federal government force the provinces to do this. The governments are all so worried about who is going to pay for what that they miss the simple things. This is a miniscule cost to them and endangers lives. FIX IT!!!

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