Survey: 19M Americans have purchased cheaper drugs across US borders

Tens of millions of Americans have purchased prescription drugs from outside of the U.S. and imported them into the country, reports Kaiser Health News.

In November, the Kaiser Family Foundation polled a nationally representative sample of 1,202 adults. Eight percent of respondents said they or someone in their household had imported a drug, a figure that translates to about 19 million U.S. adults, according to current Census population estimates.

Respondents who reported importing medicines ranged from college students in their 20s to retired individuals in their 80s, according to KHN. They purchased prescription drugs to treat both chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, and acute conditions like sinus infections or acne.

Americans may often purchase prescription drugs at half the cost outside of the country, according to the report. However, many imported medications could be inferior, expired or counterfeit, which is why in most circumstances, it's illegal to import drugs into the U.S. for personal use, according to a page on the Food and Drug Administration's website.

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