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Shopping in Algodones, Mexico for Dental, Glasses and Prescription Drugs

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This is a busy street corner in Algodones. It literally is one block from the birder crossing!

This is a busy street corner in Algodones. It literally is one block from the border crossing!


When you cross the border, this is the very first thing you will see. On the far left is the Purple Pharmacy where I get my prescription drugs. In the center under the blueish-purple sign is where I get my dental and eyeglasses (yes, I get them both in one small office).

One question every vandweller has to face is what will he/she do about health insurance. And to be honest, that is a question I have struggled with myself and havent found an answer to. I was a union clerk for over 30 years and had been told that I would get free health insurance for life when I retired. Then a few years before I retired they said the insurance rates had gone increased so much they had to start charging. Every year I would get a letter telling me the monthly rate for insurance was going up. When I finally retired my “free” insurance was going to cost me $600 a month! I couldn’t possibly afford that so I declined to take it.  I looked into private insurance and couldn’t find any I could afford so I simply did without. I am basically healthy so I didn’t really miss it. But I have high blood pressure and I take prescription drugs every month to control it.  So I had to pay for that myself. Then I needed a yearly exam to get my drugs renewed. And of course I need dental care every year. And it seems as I get older I need more involved and expensive dental work. While I had perfect eye site all my life, once I hit my mid 40s I had to start wearing glasses, and I needed a new exam and glasses every year.
The combined cost of a yearly doctors exam, the high blood pressure medications, dental work and eye exam and glasses were taking a huge toll on my budget! I was going to have to get a job just to pay for them all. Then a friend told me about a little town just across the Mexican border called Algodones where I could go and get all those things for pennies on the dollar.

A busy, bustling street in Algodones. You are as safe there as you are anywhere in America!

My first thought was that I was uncomfortable traveling in Mexico. I knew intellectually that the media only told the splashy criminal stories and that most people traveled safely there, but none the less I was afraid to travel in Mexico. My friend assured me that Algodones was a sleepy little border town that was kept extremely safe  so that Americans could go there and spend their money in total safety. I was a little nervous but I simply could not afford to keep paying the exorbitant prices I was paying for dental, glasses or drugs, so I decided to give it a try.

There is about a 4 square block area that is totally packed with Dentists, Pharmacies, and optometrists. I have been told there are more dentists per square block here than anywhere in the world, and I believe it!

I am so glad I did!! My friend was entirely right, I am as safe in Algodones as I am anywhere in America, and the prices are incredible. My first year I went to a dentist in Nevada and got X-rays, and exam, and an estimate of the cost to fix my teeth. His price was going to be $2500. I didn’t have that much money so I had no choice but to go to Mexico. All that work only cost me $600 in Mexico and I was very satisfied with it. While I was there I got a new pair of glasses for $80 including the exam! The last exam I had in the U.S. cost me $65 at Sams Club. So the glasses only cost me another $15, and that included bi-focal and progressive (they turn dark in sunlight)! While I was there I bought a years supply of high blood pressure medication for the same price I would have paid for two months supply at home. And I avoided paying a Doctor $250 to tell me I was fine and write a prescription for new meds (I monitor it on my on with my own blood pressure cuff).
One more thing, I know many people with health insurance who go to Mexico for their dental, glasses and prescription drugs because what they pay for it there is less than their co-pay even though they have insurance. It is very common to be able to buy drugs or glasses there for much less than you would pay in the U.S. for your deductible and co-pay alone.

This street is one block over from the main entrance area, and as you can see it much less busy. Many people find dentists here to avoid the crowds.

I was sold, and from then on I have returned every year to get all those things done. My every experience has been positive. The dental care was fast, clean and safe, my blood pressure has remained under control and I can see clearly now! As I am writing this I am camping on BLM land just 6 miles from Algodones. I have already made three trips there in the last week and have new glasses, a years supply of meds and clean teeth. Algodones is just outside of Yuma, AZ so it is scheduled into my calender every year that sometime in the winter I will be camping near Yuma to go to Algodones. There is plenty of BLM land to camp on for free and Yuma is a large town with everything you could need. As a bonus, Yuma is the warmest place in Arizona in the winter so it is always 6-10 degrees warmer than the rest of the desert when it is cold. This year there are 12 other people camping with me and 4 of them went across the border and they all had very good experiences as well.
Having gone there a dozen times in the last 4 years I have learned a few things that make going across easier. Here they are:

  • There is a large parking lot a 2 minute walk away from the border. The very best way to go is to park and walk across. Everything you need is in a 4 square block area right beside the border crossing so  car is just a hassle, much better to just walk. It costs $5 to park for the day in a fenced, patrolled lot.
  • It is very easy to enter Mexico, but you must have a Passport to bet back into America. If you don’t have a Passport, they will also accept a Drivers License and a Birth Certificate. In my opinion, every vandweller should have all those things with him.
  • It is extremely safe! There is a heavy Mexican Police presence and I have never seen or heard of any kind of crime there. Old, “rich” Americans are the goose that laid the golden egg and they want to take very good care of us. Without exception all my trips across the border have been very pleasant! Many people go across just for lunch and I haven’t heard of anyone getting sick from it either (although most won’t drink the water).
  • Because of the huge number of Snowbirds (RVers who go south in the winter) in Yuma, there are many Americans who cross over the border every day. The problem is they all try to come back at the same time after lunch. The result is there are generally very long lines every afternoon of people waiting to get back into the U.S. One time I stood in line for 2 hours trying to get back across and 45 minutes is very common. The way to avoid the line is to go in early and leave before noon. Doing that I have never waited in line for more than 10 minutes. They are very fast at making glasses, they should be done in 2 hours. But rather than wait and end up standing in a long line, I order them one day, and pick them up the next morning.  In the same way, they are very fast at making crowns, they may well be done the same day, but to avoid the lines I get the work done in the morning and come back the next day to get the crown put on.
  • You don’t need a prescription to buy drugs in Mexico. You just walk up to the counter and tell the clerk the name of the drug and the size you want and they hand it to you. I always shop at the Purple Pharmacy. The clerks there are very knowledgeable, generally speak fluent English and are very helpful.  For example, they were out of the size I wanted in something and the clerk ran just down the street to another branch of the store and found it and came back with it. Highly recommended! As soon as you cross the border you will know which ones to go to because the buildings are painted a bright Purple. My first year I checked prices and they were just as cheap as anyone else and on a few things they were cheaper.
  • You are only allowed to buy a 3 months supply of prescription drugs during any trip, so I need to make multiple trips to get a years supply. Also, you are only allowed to buy for your own personal use. One year I brought back a big bag of drugs for myself, my mom and sister. The INS agent saw that big bag and asked me if they were all for my own use and I said no, they were for my family and myself. He told me that was NOT allowed, but he would let me do it this one time. He could have refused and made me return them, but he didn’t.  So I have never done that again.
  • Something I always buy while I am there is a bottle of Amoxocyillin, a very good, broad-spectrum antibiotic. In the U.S. you would need an a prescription but not in Mexico. I keep it on hand in case I (or Homer) get an infection while I am in the back-country. It costs $5 for a bottle of 100. Another thing I always have on hand is a Penicillin Salve that comes in a little vial and is applied topically to the skin. On several occasions I have started to get an infection on a cut and rubbed some if it on it and it worked like magic! The swelling and redness disappeared almost instantly. Homer got a bad cut once and I started applying this stuff and a few days later I went to apply it and there was no sign of his ever having a cut. It costs $3.50 for a bottle that lasts me several years. Highly recommended!
  • Most businesses in Algodones will not take credit cards, but a few will. So your best bet is to bring cash. Also, many times prices are negotiable. The first time I bought glasses they were going to take too long to get to my eye exam so I went to the store literally next door. He was going to charge me $20 less and I only had to wait a few minutes. When I went outside to wait for the exam, the guy from next door asked me how much and I told him and he offered to match the price and get me in for the exam right then.  So I did that. All that goes to show that if you are paying cash, and are willing to walk away, you can save yourself some money. The guy who did the exam did such a good job that I have been back to him 4 times since then and my glasses are always perfect!
  • All over Algodones there are small vendors selling jewelry, leather goods, sunglasses, clothes, hat and just about anything you can imagine in a tourist trap. Negotiating is completely normal. If they want $25, offer him $10. Chances are there many other vendors selling the exact same product so if they won’t negotiate, just go to the next one and maybe he will. Maybe you will end up paying $15, but that will still be a good deal.

When you are on the limited budget many of us are, it is easy to cut corners on taking care of your health. For that reason I am so glad I have discovered Algodones and want to encourage you to give it a try. If you live far away, then maybe this is a reason you should move to the Southwest. There is a huge amount of free public land to live on and if you are willing to move with the seasons you can stay reasonably comfortable year around. Best of all there is an abundance of like-minded people out here and making life-long friends out of other vandwellers is very easy.
All in all, it is a wonderful life!!
This is a map I cut and pasted from Google Maps. It shows how to get to Algodones. Just take Interstate 8 (it runs from San Diego, CA to near Tuscon AZ). Get off on Exit 166 and turn south toward the border. It is only about 2 miles don to the town itself. There is a big sign showing where to park.

This is a map I cut and pasted from Google Maps. It shows how to get to Algodones. Just take Interstate 8 (it runs from San Diego, CA to near Tuscon AZ). Get off on Exit 166 and turn south toward the border. It is only about 2 miles down to the town itself. There is a big sign showing where to park.



  1. Carl

    Bob,would there be a way for me to check and see if they have the pills I take every day or if they can get them? The common ones I am sure they would have.The one I am wondering about is Latuda.Are there websites I can check on for this?

    • Bob

      Carl, if it is a commonly available drug they should have it. I didn’t get a card when I was last there but I poked around the net and found the website for the Purple Pharmacy and this is their address and number.
      P.O Box 7257
      Yuma, AZ 85366
      or call
      01152 (658) 5177005
      You can write or call. I’m sure it is an international call.

  2. CAE

    Excellent advice.
    I have been to many countries where people make far less money than the US and magically, they have decent health care for a fraction of the US costs. Yup, here in the good old USA health care is a cartel.

  3. myrrh

    this is so interesting! i am required to pay for insurance that i can’t afford to use. one thing i’ve never seen discussed is, do most fulltimers have plans or options for what they would do if they become sick or unable to care for themselves? i guess this is just irrational fear, but i wouldn’t ever want to be a burden on friends or family. has anyone asked this before? thank you!

    • Bob

      Myrrh, it is a very important question. You can buy insurance to pay for in-home or assisted-living medical care but not many of us can afford it. I can’t afford for health insurance for today much less for what might happen long into the future. By then I will be on medicare/medicaid, which isn’t very good but it is the best I can do.
      I wish I had an answer but I don’t. But I am no worse off because I live in a van. I wouldn’t have an answer even if I lived in a house. I could go back to work to pay for the insurance but I would rather die early than do that.

    • Cardel

      Check with a group called Escapees They have campgrounds all over the west with the headquarters in Livingston, Tx. A few years ago I read they have a care center and a nursing home for full timers.

  4. Sunny

    Very helpful info… thanks so much!

    • Bob

      You are very welcome Sunny, we aim to please!

  5. Offroad

    This is one of the top ten postings for the last year. a must keep reference. Especially the dental. Might be cheaper to fly to that area, and drive to the border for dental care.
    You can also do similar savings with elective operations. Canada, England both have cheaper surgical costs.
    Just FYI on the Blood pressure pills. Started on them myself lately, and there is one pharmacy that has them available for free. Call around and you might find your medicine for free. Prescription is not free though.
    Please remember that doctors-dentists-phramacists-drug companies know their prices are too high in USA. You can call ahead and do a cash agreement, for a 50% off with many.
    As far as insurance, always look for a CATISTROPHIC medical insurance with a high deductable. Before obama-care muddied the whole insurance situation you could get a $5000 deductable medical insurance that would cover cancer treatment, if you ever got cancer (or other major disease). Cost was $250 monthly. Just by shopping agressively.

    • Bob

      Offroad, that is interesting about the free medicines, I had never heard of that. And I agree about Catastrophic health insurance. If I have to get health insurance because of Obama care that is what I will get. I firmly believe that Medical Savings Accounts and catastrophic insurance were the solution to the health care crisis, but it is to simple and the government thinks they know better so they couldn’t settle for it.

  6. Michael Kane

    When we retired in 2007 we stayed a week in Yuma and crossed to Los Algodones to get my teeth worked on. I had all my teeth crowned, 26 in total. Two days was all it took and the cost was $125.00 a tooth. It might be more now. I also went in the summer when snow-bird visitation is low. I think this might have accounted for the low price. This also included two bridges. It would have cost over $30,000 in the US. It has been five and a half years and not one problem. We highly recommend Algodones for dental work. We have never gotten glasses there but will have to try that next. Great article…thank you.
    Michael Kane

    • Bob

      Michael, thanks for that report. There is a natural tendency to think that Mexican dentists must be sub-standard but I have not found that to be true at all. Of the many people I have talked to who got dental work there only two had problems afterwards and they went back and the dentists fixed it right away. Their reputation is very important to them.
      Thanks again!

  7. Robert Witham

    Great info here, and very useful. I have not been to a dentist in years, and have been postponing vision and other medical things for the same reason: cost. It’s not that I’m cheap (though I am), but that I simply cannot afford to pay USA prices for healthcare, nor can I afford insurance. I have been figuring for a few years that I will need to start obtaining healthcare elsewhere. Algodones sounds plenty convenient and accessible!

    • Bob

      Hi Robert, there are lots of us just like you that simply can’t afford to go to the dentist. For us Mexico is the perfect solution. I reported on Algodones because I am familiar with it, but there are other towns just like it all along the border. If you do some research I am sure you can find some closer to you if you are back East. I know there are some along the Texas borer. And like I said, it is a compelling reason to live in a van in the SouthWest states!

  8. Dixie

    Hi Bob! This is my first time commenting. I have been following your site for awhile now. I can’t tell you how much I value all the info and knowledge you share!! I have been very interested in the “Algodones” solution to dental, optical and prescriptions! My Hubby & I are retiring the 1st of april(can’t wait)but are Not yet eligible for Medicare. Our insurance is insanely expensive-EVEN- with a huge deductable!(we have been self-employed for years!)so self insured! I VERY MUCH appreciate your information on this-It could not have come at a more convenient time. I have been facing some serious high dollar solutions for dental and often thought about “Algodones” but wasn’t sure? We are positively planning on traveling to S.W. Az. in the fall and trying the “boondocking” experience! We very much want to meet you and your “Tribe” at the RTR! in january of 2014!!Hopefully we can “glean” some ideas on Solar and ETC.Looking forward to LEARNING this lifestyle! Thankyou Sincerely for all you do!!! Dixie (northern MN.)

    • Bob

      Well Dixie, if I lived in Northern Minnesota I would be dreaming about leaving there as well LOL. I’m sure you have gotten clobbered by some really bad weather this winter!
      No need to wait all that time to learn. Please, feel free to write me anytime with questions that may come up as you prepare to hit the road. I’m always glad to help in any way I can. I’m looking forward to meeting you when you get out here!

  9. Chuck

    You’re a wealthy man Bob. Thank you for sharing your wealth!

    • Bob

      Thanks Chuck, now if only I could convince my checking account of that!

  10. Tim McDougall

    My reply just dissappeared so I’ll try again.
    Motoprolol Tartrate is available on the Walmart $4.00 drug list for a 30 day supply .
    If anyone uses this particular drug you might check it out.

    • Bob

      Tim, thanks for that information. That isn’t one of the drugs I take but it raises a good point. With so many drugs being very cheap as generics, you may not save much money on them in Mexico. One of the drugs I take is a generic and would be $12 at Walmart for a 90 day supply but I only pay $7 in Algodones. Of course saving $5 would not be worth the trip by itself. However, Walmart won’t sell it to me without a prescription, so before I can get that cheap generic drug I have to pay a Doctor $250 to give me the prescription. In Algodones I don’t have to pay the $250 first.

  11. Lois

    GREAT post! Thank you thank you thank you! I agree with the others who’ve said this is a resource worth keeping. You’ve given amazing info here and it’s so appreciated!

    • Bob

      Lois, I am glad to help! I know many others are in the same position I am and not able to afford the high cost of health care. I’m grateful to my friend for sharing the info with me and so i like to pass it along as well.

  12. Karen

    Bob, thank you! I’ve been wondering about this for awhile, having read/heard similar stories but never hearing about it from someone who’d actually btdt. Got to get on the road soon!

    • Bob

      Karen, it is just human nature to be skeptical, and especially so when it comes to our health. Hearing from someone who has been there is very reassuring. If my friend hadn’t told me I would have been in a world of hurt since I couldn’t afford dental care or glasses. So I am just passing it on!

  13. BIKER

    Great info,THANK you.

    • Bob

      Hi Biker, you are very welcome.

  14. Dan, Phx.

    Hi Bob, when you go to the border do they have a place you can park your truck and trailer, or do you have to find a place to leave your trailer.

  15. Calvin R

    I also need a blood-pressure medicine. The one that works is on the $4 list, but seeing the doctor to get a prescription is not. I’ve never been able to get more than a 90-day prescription, either. I’m out again right now and seeing a doctor is far out of range financially. (I’ve tried some of the clinics. They all have strings attached.) This information is really good news.
    On top of that, my dentures are 25 years old and are simply worn down. This is a very motivational post for me.

    • Bob

      Calvin, I can relate totally, the costs just keep piling up. I know several people who got complete sets of denture there and were very, very happy with them. You are going to have to save your pennies and get down here somehow!

  16. RV AJ

    Great food for thought. I have had the same concerns about Mexico. Thanks for dispelling the myths.

    • Bob

      I’m glad I could help RV AJ.

  17. voytek

    Thank You Bob for Your great page and whole informations.
    Best Regards

    • Bob

      You are welcome voytek! I think of myself as Joe-Average and so what is interesting and helpful to me is generally so to others as well.

  18. rick

    Another fantastic post, Bob! Great information. I am curious if you have spoken to anyone that has crossed over into Tijuana, Mexico? I found a flight to San Diego for $240 and the train down to the border is around $5 (info from a website I found). Keep up the great info, I love to read your blog.

    • Bob

      Rick, I’m sorry but I have never been to Mexico except to Algodones. Tijuana has a terrible reputation but you never know what the truth is and there is probably a very safe tourist area. But I just don’t know since I have never been there. Wish I could be more helpful.

    • Lois

      Rick, I know several people who have had their dental work done in Tijuana – I don’t know the particulars but I know they’ve been pleased with the work done. I’ve gotten prescription drugs in Tijuana – just like Bob says, you walk in with a list of the drugs you want, in the sizes you want, and they ring you up. Hope that helps just a little!
      — Lois

  19. CamperCouple

    Do they require you to make an appointment first ? and if so how did you go about choosing the one you did ?(Dentist and eye dr )
    Also do you need to speak Spanish to get around down there. Like ordering your medications, understanding the Dentist etc…

    • Bob

      Hi CamperCouple, generally you don’t need an appointment, some of the more famous dentists do require them but they are the exception. I have been to two dentists and they were just the luck of the draw (neither spoke English well), same with the eyeglass place.
      You don’t have to speak Spanish but it would help. If the doctor isn’t fluent in English they will have an interpreter for you. The eyeglass place I went to all spoke English but the dentist in the same office did not. The clerks in the Purple Pharmacy have all been fluent in English that I have spoken to.

  20. Mcpherson Dentist

    That’s awesome all that worked out for you! It’s terrible that insurance are rising so quickly and making hard working Americans have to do without in a lot of cases. If only we could all travel to Mexico!

    • Bob

      I agree Mcpherson. I wish there were easy solutions but today’s problems have gotten so difficult that there are very few easy answers left. The only thing I can say is that airfare to Phoenix shouldn’t be much and then rent a car to run down to Yuma. That would all be about $300 and it is easy to save many thousands on dental care, glasses and prescription meds. So it might be worth the trip.

  21. stan watkins

    I was just down at the Qetchan casino to play with the Temptations and saw several people wearing Algondones t shirts anwondered what the attraction was. My drummer today is coming up from Yuma where he is a Special agent for the FBI ( yeah,sounds crazy,great drummer though) I’ll see what he says.

    • Bob

      Thanks for that feed back Stan. For those of you who don’t know the Qetchan are the Native American Tribe that have reservation land surrounding the entrance to Algodones, in fact they own the parking lot by the border. Their casino welcomes RVs so many snowbirds stay at the casino for free while going to Algodones.
      playing with the Temptations must be quite an honor, they are all-time classics!

  22. stan watkins

    Always fun to play with the Temps. I talked with my friend about Algondones and he thinks the Narcos have some sort of agreement with the Mexican government to keep it peaceful where the rich gringos go.

    • Bob

      Stan, that could be true. I know the Border Patrol has an extremely heavy presence in the area so trying to run drugs or illegals through there wouldn’t make much sense. The reason they are so heavy there is easy access to water for someone trying to walk in from Mexico. The Colorado river is very nearby and and there are many canals running off it. So the Border Patrol is everywhere here. They run drones and dirigibles in the sky constantly and many, many trucks running the back-roads. I camped very near one of the canals once and the Border Patrol was through 4-6 times a day, everyday. They stopped often to check to in on us and that made us all feel pretty safe.
      Whatever the reason is, Algodones is extremely safe! And that works greatly to the advantage of the average American who needs cheap, but high quality medical care.

  23. stan watkins

    I thought it was because the border was more secure there also but he said the drugs are still poring over the border there. Like you said as long as it remains safe us gavachos can take advantage. Keep on keepin’ on Viejo.

  24. Aussie Frank

    Great post Bob! What a generous and helpful thing you’ve done here … you maybe have helped prolong some peoples lives and perhaps even saved one. Access to afforadble medicine and health care is just so important.

    • Bob

      Aussie Frank, I think you may be right. If my friend hadn’t told me about Algodones I may have had no choice but go off my high blood pressure meds and that would certainly have shortened my life. if life is a puzzle then health care is one of the most important pieces, I am glad to share a solution to part of it.

  25. Lee

    EXCELLENT post.
    Thank you very much for this post. I expect it will save many people a lot of money, and the most of us do not have any extra to waste. There is no doubt the American system is in need of serious repair. Thanks for putting some options on the table.

    • Bob

      Lee, thanks for your kind words! Going to Algodones has saved me thousands of dollars so I think it is important to pass it along.

  26. Jay

    This sounds great! I need to get some dental work, so I have to work in a trip to Yuma/Algodones in the next year or so. I like the idea of parking in AZ and walking acros the border to Mexico. Probably makes the border crossing easier. But my concern is what to do with my dog… I definitely can’t leave him in my van, even if I drive it across to Algodones. I could be at the dentist all day.
    My dog gets separation anxiety too, so that complicates things even more. Although I consider my dog to be family, for hygienic reasons, I doubt they would let a dog into a dental office. Any ideas on what I could do with my dog? I’ve never put him in a kennel. He’s a rescue dog. I adopted him after he was abandoned, and he gets anxious even when I leave him at a dog groomers. Not sure how he would react to being with strangers (human and canine) at kennel.
    – Jay.

  27. Carrol

    Hi Bob, I came across your blog while searching for information on dentists, glasses, etc. I live in Canada where our health insurance is about $120/month – no deductible, pays for all physician appointments, specialist appointments, x-rays, hospital care, emergency visits, etc. We pay approximately $12 prescription dispensing fee – that’s before you actually pay for the drugs. We are thinking of doing the dental thing this fall and the more I read, the less sceptical I become. We would fly to Phoenix and then go to Yuma. Do you have any idea what would be the most economical way to get to Yuma from Phoenix?
    Must say I thoroughly enjoyed your writings.

    • Bob

      Hi Carrol, I don’t have any specific knowledge of transportation from Phoenix to Yuma, but i’m sure there is a bus that makes that run and airlines too. But once in Yuma you would have to take taxis everywhere to get around and that would be expensive. My guess is that renting a car in Phoenix and driving would be the cheapest and easiest. Generally you can rent an economy car for around $30 a day or less and if you were there for 3 days that’s only about $100. I suggest you get online and compare different fares to see which is cheapest. You might could even rent a cargo van and stay in it for the whole time you were there and not have to stay in a motel. That would save you a bunch and give you vandwelling experience!!When you get there, buy a cheap air mattress and go to a thrift store and buy cheap bedding and you have a home!! October, November and December are good times to go because it won’t be hot. But be aware, it can be surprisingly cold there in winter so be prepared for some cold weather.
      I will be down there by November or December, and you are always welcome in my camp!
      I have a Canadian friend and for some reason she waited to get a root canal in Algadones. She was glad she did!

  28. stuart

    I enjoyed the post and obviously you are very well meaning
    however I have read in several places that prescriptions are required in mexico just as they are in the united states
    in other words you cannot just walk into a pharmacy and get anything you want
    I am somewhat puzzled by your account re this matter

    • Bob

      Stuart, I can only report my experience and the experience of dozens of other people I have gone to Mexico with. In algodones, Mexico you do NOT need a prescription. You tell them which drug you need, they hand it to you and you pay them. No prescription required. Now, I don’t use any pain-killers so they may be different, I can’t say. But I have crossed the border at least 20 times and bought just about every other kind of medicine for myself or my friends you can think of (including Viagra and Prozac) and I have never been asked for a prescription.
      I believe that technically the Border Patrol wants you to have a prescription but in all the times I (and my friends) have brought drugs back into the US from Mexico I have never heard of anyone being asked for a prescription.

    • Bob

      Stuart, all I can tell you is what I have and seen with my own eyes many and done , many times. This is a prime example of what I have seen many, many times. Something looks and sounds right on paper but in the real world it just isn’t right. there is always a possibility it is different in different parts of mexico. I can only speak for Algodones, MX.

  29. eric krueger

    Is it possible to call americas best there with my info and have them send me my eyeware?

    • Bob

      I’m sorry Eric, I don’t have a clue. I’m sure they have a website and you could call and ask. Wish could be more helpful.

  30. Brittany

    Great post!
    Regarding the prescription medication, can you make multiple trips per day in order to get a year’s worth of medication or does this need to be spread out in a matter of days/weeks/months? Just wondering how long we’d need to spend down there. Thanks!

    • Bob

      Brittany, I’ve done two trips in a day but I can’t think of any reason you can’t do more. Just try not to go through the same Border Patrol Officers desk. Easy to do, just go through the other door (there are two)

  31. Sue

    If you don’t see a doctor and don’t have a prescription, how do you know if your prescription (for HBP, just for instance) should be changed? This is such a new idea to me, that I may be missing something very obvious.
    Your website is a virtual treasure house of information — thank you very much!

    • Bob

      Sue, with HBP it’s easy, you take it yourself and go to places where they check it for free. Mine is perfect! If you have to see your doctor more, then you will have to get insurance. But even then, chances are good it will be cheaper in Mexico.

      • Rita

        Hey Bob,
        We go there for dental work and have a fantastic female Dr. Thinking about getting glasses there but the couple places I have been I wasn’t sure if they understood what I wanted. I have a prescription from my Dr. all ready, who do you go to for glasses. We will be heading down next week for dental work.

  32. Jeremy James

    Do you have to have a prescription to cross the border for all the meds you buy? Slightly confused on that…

  33. Sri Ram

    I’m so glad to read this blog I got lots of information. so this blog is going to help me a lot…The people who read this blog will definitely go to help them a lot Thank You.

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