By Dan Behrman for The Liberty Block

Anyone who follows Bernie Sanders on Twitter knows that he’s always ranting and raving about how expensive insulin is in the united states. But while he’s pushing a government takeover of all private businesses, ‘Medicare for all’, or some sort of price-capping regulation, I have a better idea. 

Until we abolish the laws that enable pharmaceutical companies to price gouge American citizens on life-saving medications, smuggling insulin from Mexico is a necessity. 

  • So, how do you smuggle insulin from Mexico into the united states? 
  • Is it even legal, and what happens if you get caught? 
  • Can anyone do it? 

This article is going to answer those questions, and more. 

A quick disclaimer. While this is written as a “HOW-TO” guide, these are really just the rules that I follow myself. I am not advocating for anyone to break the law. This article is only intended for informational purposes and to tell my story.

The First Time I Smuggled Insulin from Mexico

I moved to Mexico four years ago, and because I still have a residence in Texas, I’m technically on a really long vacation. But because I spend time in both countries, I couldn’t help but notice the price differences in just about everything, including insulin. 

I started to get curious. And then I started asking myself some questions – what’s so different about the laws in the united states and the laws in Mexico? Can we learn anything from Mexico to make healthcare more affordable for Americans? 

And most importantly…knowing about the differences in insulin prices, how can we help struggling Americans who cannot afford their medication every month? 

I had a friend who was diabetic and bilingual, and he would actually go across the border to Mexico to buy his insulin. So, I thought I would give it a try for myself. I quickly learned that in Mexico, you don’t need a prescription for insulin. Anyone can purchase it if they need it. 

From that point on, every time I travelled back to the united states, I would purchase insulin and bring it with me. Once I got across the border, I would sell it at cost to the people who needed it. 

Why is Insulin so Expensive in the United States? 

Getting insulin in the Socialist States of America is a lengthy and expensive process. You must see a doctor to determine if you have diabetes and to figure out what type of medication you need. The reality is that federal laws may be forcing you to see your doctor more often than you really need to. Some people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars before they even get to hold that first vial or pen of insulin in their hands. 

Please understand – you should see a doctor to get a diagnosis and keep your prescription up to date. In fact, you should see your doctor as often as you feel the need to, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting the medication you know you need. 

The same brands that are available in the united states are available in Mexico. For example, Lantus comes in a box with 5 pens, and each pen will last a diabetic patient for about a month, depending on how often they need it. 

In the U.S. a box of Lantus costs $500, or $100 per pen. In Mexico, the same insulin costs $60 a box, or $12 per pen. That’s 88% less, and if you do the math, you can easily see how diabetics spend thousands of dollars to get the medicine they need. The massive difference probably stems from the ultra-restricted market in the united states. The federal government makes it illegal for any business to produce and sell insulin unless it is approved by the FDA. In order to get a drug approved by the FDA, the manufacturer must spend billions of dollars and wait decades for the government agents to approve their medication. This is why the FDA has only approved a few manufacturers to sell insulin in the united states. This limits competition, which keeps prices high. This is exactly how epinephrine auto-injectors became so expensive in the united states. And it’s why Americans pay more for medications than almost anyone else in the world. By choosing which companies are allowed to sell a medication and by granting massive government contracts to their friends’ companies, politicians often pick winners and losers in ‘private’ industries, like pharmaceuticals.

How to Smuggle Insulin

Anyone can smuggle insulin into the United States from Mexico; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do every step of the way. Here are my best tips: 

  • Insulin needs to be refrigerated. When you buy it from a pharmacy, they’ll give you a bag of ice. Make sure you keep it in the ice so it stays cold. 
  • Put the ice in the freezer and put the insulin in the refrigerator. You don’t want to freeze insulin, so the refrigerator is sufficient. 
  • Once you’re ready to head back to the U.S., the insulin should be the very last thing you pack. Put it back into the bag of ice and wrap the bag in a sweatshirt or sweater before placing it in your suitcase. 

From here, you can feel secure when you check your bag if you’re flying back to the United States. Checked baggage typically gets cold under the plane, so it will be safe there, even if you have a long flight back. 

You don’t even have to worry about it if you’re driving back across the border. Any customs officials will just assume that the insulin belongs to you for your own, personal use. And you won’t need a prescription to prove it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to bring insulin into the united states from Mexico?

Every state is different, so it’s important to do your research before you smuggle insulin in from Mexico. For example, in Texas, it’s illegal to “make insulin available” to someone if they don’t have a prescription. There might also be other rules against distributing insulin if you’re not a licensed pharmacist. You’ll want to find out what the laws state where you live and then make a decision on how to proceed. 

How Can You Let People Know You’ll Have Cheap Insulin for Sale?  

It’s best to have people in mind that will need cheap insulin before you bring it back across the border. You definitely don’t want it to just sit around in your refrigerator for a year. 

You could post on Facebook, but it might be better to simply ask around to find out who your diabetic friends are. Then you can privately message them through an app like Signal, which is the most private (end to end encrypted) app for communication. Make sure you find out what brand, strength, and application they need (pen or vial) before you leave. 

Can You Really Buy Cheap Insulin Over the Counter in the U.S. if You Say it’s for Your Dog? 

You’ve probably seen people posting on Facebook about how you can get cheap insulin at Walmart if you say it’s for your dog. There’s actually some truth to that statement. 

Some older brands of insulin (such as Novolin and Humulin R or N), are available over the counter. Others are only available by prescription, and those are the ones that doctors in the united states typically prescribe. You also don’t have to say it’s for your dog. They won’t ask. 

In some cases, these OTC brands of insulin might be sufficient to treat some patients. But if your doctor feels a long-acting insulin is best, patients should stick with that recommendation. 

Syringes are available without a prescription too, in many states. You can get them in limited quantities per day as long as you have a valid ID and you’re over the age of 18. 

Your Healthcare is a Personal Right exists because Americans have a right to free healthcare. Free from government corruption, that is.

For far too long, the DC politicians and pharmaceutical companies have been increasing prices on prescription medications like insulin. Many people can’t afford to go to the doctor, and many don’t even have health insurance because it’s so costly. 

We have to fight back every way we can, and if that means smuggling insulin from Mexico so people who need it can treat their diabetes, I’m going to do it. 

You’re welcome to join me. 

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Liberty Block or any of its members. We welcome all forms of serious feedback and debate.

1 Comment

Mossimo · January 9, 2022 at 7:28 pm

“Until we abolish the laws that enable pharmaceutical companies to price gouge American citizens” that is a loaded, non-specific (which laws?) and doesn’t sound very libertarian or free-market at all. It sounds like you want to use the force of government to prevent the free market to set prices (one man’s gouging is another mans free market pricing). Can’t have it both ways.

While big pharma are certainly no angels, they at least provide a product that people want. The costs of inventing a new drug and getting it approved by the FDA and into the healthcare system is vast like…some estimate at $1 billion dollars. The pharma companies have to employee legions of people including overpaid lawyers, lobbyyists to deal with it all.

Let’s not forget the pharma company and their investors have to eat the costs of the dogs in their portfolio that were not effective enough, could not get approved, etc…

Then, thanks to the patent laws they have to squeeze the payback for the above into theoretically seven years but in reality that gets squeezed down to closer to five.

I don’t have time to get into the demand side of this but you can read here about the effects of current government meddling

If you are insulin you might try eliminating sugar and carbs from the diet…consider sugar, what, soy, rice and corn are heavily subsidized by the Feds aka cheap filler. Many people can reverse insulin resistance doing this and with intermittent fasting.

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