When it comes to ordering prescriptions from Canada at cheaper costs, here’s what you need to know regarding the laws and regulations.
As access to the Internet increases, so does the number of consumers who buy everything from medications and food to clothing over the Web. Thousands of online pharmacies exist, offering nearly every category of drugs.
Whether you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol levels, or relieve pain, you can order your meds with the click of a button.
Canadian pharmacies are particularly popular because of their low prices and close proximity to the U.S. Many of them offer doorstep delivery, discounts, and 24/7 access. Some also provide online consultations with licensed healthcare professionals.
However, there are a few things you should know before jumping on the bandwagon and ordering prescriptions from Canada. It’s important to be aware that not all online pharmacies are legitimate.
Many Internet-based drug stores falsely portray themselves as Canadian, selling counterfeit meds. An overwhelming number of establishments are operating illegally and may put your health at risk.
Interested to find out more? Read our guide to buying prescriptions from Canada so you can make the right choice!
Find Legitimate Online Pharmacies
Illegitimate drug companies often sell expired or contaminated medicines, sugar pills, or products that are banned in the U.S. Some don’t even require a prescription.
As a consumer, it’s your responsibility to check the supplier’s authenticity and make an informed decision.
Counterfeit medicines may not be safe and can worsen your symptoms. Additionally, an overdose may put your health at risk and cause serious complications. That’s why it’s important to order your meds from reputable pharmacies.
There are two ways to check the legitimacy of online Canadian drug suppliers. You can either use the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program or check with the local pharmacy regulatory authorities.
If you choose the first option, head over to Safe.Pharmacy and enter the store’s website address in the designated field. However, some online pharmacies are relatively new and may not show up in searches.
Once you’ve found a reliable option, see its About section and contact information.
Watch out for Red Flags
Next, make sure you know how to tell the difference between a legitimate Canadian pharmacy and one that doesn’t play by the rules.
Watch out for these red flags when ordering prescriptions from Canada:
- Offers extremely low prices that seem too good to be true
- Doesn’t require a prescription or any medical information
- Doesn’t provide their contact information
- Sells unapproved or experimental drugs
- Sends unsolicited or spam emails after you sign up
- Cannot provide a real person, such as a licensed pharmacist, to speak with
- You can’t find any information on its legitimacy or reputation
- Customers can only pay through money transfer services or direct transfer
- Its website makes exaggerated claims (ex: “the only cancer treatment that actually works”)
- It doesn’t have a policy on patient confidentiality
Back in 2016, the FDA tested several drugs sold in online pharmacies. A staggering 85 percent of the medicines claiming to be Canadian or from Canadian pharmacies originated from other countries.
Rogue pharmacies often sell medications that contain potentially harmful ingredients, not enough of the active ingredient, or too much of it.
These drugs may not have the desired effect. Furthermore, they may worsen existing conditions or interact with other meds you’re taking.
Additionally, they may be expired or contaminated with heavy metals. If they haven’t been properly stored, they may not be effective.
Finding a safe online pharmacy won’t be easy, but it’s worth the effort. Internet-based drug companies have lower prices and discounts that may not be available in traditional stores.
Plus, you can order from the comfort of your home and have your medicines delivered to your doorstep.
Opt for Generic Drugs
Canadian pharmacies typically sell prescription drugs at lower prices than their U.S. counterparts. Some meds are up to 70 percent cheaper!
For further savings, consider choosing generic drugs over their brand-name counterparts.
Contrary to what you may have heard, generic meds are not inferior to their branded version. They’re actually just as safe and effective, points out the FDA. Better yet, they cost about five times less.
One way to find the generic equivalents of brand name drugs is to use the FDA’s Orange Book.
Simply enter the drug’s name, its application number, or active ingredient in the designated field. You may also search by manufacturer, by dosage form, or by route of administration.
Alprazolam, for example, is the generic version of Xanax. Diazepam tablets are the same as Valium, while escitalopram oxalate is the therapeutic equivalent of Lexapro. There’s no difference between sertraline and Zoloft or hydrocodone and Vicodin.
If you’re not sure what to use, ask your doctor about it. Or you can discuss your options with a licensed pharmacist when buying prescriptions from Canada.
More Options for Saving
The truth is that some medications are utterly expensive in both online and traditional pharmacies.
Luckily, you can lower your costs by shopping around, using coupons, or trying samples before you buy.
Drug prices may vary by hundreds of dollars from one pharmacy to the next and from one brand to another. That’s why it pays off to shop around for a better deal. Websites like PharmacyChecker, GoodRx, and WellRx make everything a lot easier.
Use these online comparison tools to find the best prices on your prescription. Consider ordering a 90-day supply to get a discount. Furthermore, you may use prescription discount cards to reduce the total cost of your order.
Be a Savvy Shopper When Ordering Prescriptions from Canada
There is nothing dangerous about online pharmacies. The key is to choose a reliable drug supplier. Anyone with a valid U.S. prescription can get cheap medications from Canada at lower prices.
A simple online search can tell a lot about the suppliers you’re interested in. Read customer reviews, check with the Better Business Bureau, and make sure they’re approved by the PharmacyChecker Verification Program.
Ordering prescriptions from Canada could save you thousands in the long run. Do your research beforehand to find a company you can trust.
Looking for other ways to boost your health and well-being? Browse the rest of our blog!
We’ll show you where to find the best pharmacy for your needs, how to get medical help over the Web, what to eat for better health, and much more!