Is it Illegal to Mail Prescription Drugs Across State Lines?

By Russell Huebsch ; Updated June 16, 2017
Several Prescription Pill Bottles in a Pile

It may seem harmless to mail prescription drugs across state lines, even to yourself, but it is a violation of U.S. law. Mailing prescription drugs may be legal for a few professions in which it is necessary.


Private citizens cannot send prescription drugs through the U.S. mail system, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Doctors, barbers, veterinarians and pharmacists may receive drugs from drug manufacturers or licensed dealers.


You cannot mail drugs across state lines because of uncertainty about the origin and quality of drugs entering another state, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Enforcement of mailing drugs, however, is lax in the U.S.


If you receive prescription drugs from the manufacturer or licensed agent, you can usually ship it back, according to the U.S. Postal Service. You can only mail it back in a secure container provided by the manufacturer.

About the Author

Russell Huebsch has written freelance articles covering a range of topics from basketball to politics in print and online publications. He graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.