Travelling to USA on B2 (Tourist) and getting medicines for others

I am traveling to USA on a tourist visa from India . This is my first trip to USA . My friend in USA has requested me to get insulin pen for her from India and asked me to keep it in hand luggage so that the insulin pens can be kept in fridge in the flight.

Can i carry these insulin pends with me for others/visitors in USA. Please confirm if this will not be an issue for me during security or customs check.

Also do i need to take any additional documents with me. I don’t have the original prescription with me so do you recommend keeping them in checkin luggage as opposed to hand luggage to avoid any issues.

Thanks in advance.


Strictly speaking, you can only carry in medication that is for your own personal use — otherwise, you are importing the medicine and this would cause all sorts of problems.

While in reality, if it’s not a controlled or scheduled substance and the quantity that you are taking in would be reasonable for personal use, the custom’s agent won’t normally flag it but if caught you would be technically in violation and it would be within his rights to confiscate the medicine, fine you, or bar you from entry into the USA:

Note: relying on the internet for advice for behavior that can get you deported is dangerous. We could tell you that it was ok, that you wouldn’t get caught, that customs has bigger fish to fry, but you’re the one whose status would be in jeopardy.

Keeping it cold: Note that the airplane will not let you use their onboard cold storage units for liability reasons (you could contaminate the food or vice versa). You should use a small cooler box with ice or ice-packs (blue-gel, etc.) to keep the insulin cold. You can ask the flight staff for more ice during the flight, which they may or may not give you.

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