That’s all there is to it. Though certainly not a long-term solution to many older Americans’ inability to afford essential medication, this may help some of you as a stopgap.
It’s certainly a Godsend to me and my wife.
Canadian Drug Stores Still Cheaper
Because there are no market restraints on name-brand drugs (and generics are being held back by both the FDA and drug company payoffs to generic companies), Canada is still far cheaper than the US, cheaper even than the average Plan D coverage according to the US Congress.
The FDA and Customs have now stopped their harassment and interception of imported pharmaceuticals. Our readers’ letters to Congress paid off.
Canada Drugs Prices vs. US Prescription Prices
You can order with a prescription up to three months at a time without any hassle.
A comparison between U.S. and Canadian drug store prices for 90-dose supplies of some commonly prescribed drugs, as compiled by the office of Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., a proponent of allowing drug imports. All prices are in U.S. dollars:
|Effexor XR Depression||$302||$169|
|Plavix Blood Thinner||$370||$253|
ON YOUR SIDE: THE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL PHARMACY ASSOCIATION
The Role and Mission of the Association are to support Canadian International Pharmacies in their delivery of high quality, affordable medications to patients around the world.
CIPA provides all American consumers with the following straightforward advice to guarantee that they are dealing with a licensed, safe and reputable Canadian pharmacy:
- Look for the Provincial Pharmacy License number on the website and call the corresponding Provincial Regulatory Authority to verify the legitimacy of the license. See www.napra.ca for a list of the Canadian Provincial Regulatory Authorities)
- Look for a physical address in Canada listed on the website – sometimes in the “About Us” section
- Find toll-free phone numbers – call them and ask to speak to a pharmacist to answer your questions and check prices
- Look for the CIPA Certification Seal as an added verification of quality
- Make sure the pharmacy requires a valid prescription from your doctor – many bogus Web sites do not require this (i.e. SPAM and pop-up ads)
- Make sure the pharmacy requires your patient medical history or profile be completed before ordering
- Make sure the pharmacy requires a signed Patient Agreement.
Is Buying Drugs from Canadian Drug Stores Legal?
A reader writes: I read your internet column about buying Canadian prescriptions over the internet by US citizens. Is it legal? Or is it illegal (and just winked at by US law enforcement)?
Frank responds: Congress has twice passed and two presidents have signed legislation designed to make it legal to reimport drugs from Canada, but both times the cabinet-level Health and Human Services secretary concluded the safety and quality of the imported drugs could not be assured. Little surprise with all the money Big Pharma has poured into Washington, especially to the Bush Administration.
On May 7, 2003, The Canadian government officially said it is responsible for the safety and quality of this large and growing flow of prescription drugs across the border to US consumers.
If you can’t trust Canada, who can you trust?
Yet, strictly speaking, Bush has made importation and all its savings illegal, but the US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the mail-order service direct to customers under a “compassionate non-enforcement” policy to help Americans unable to afford the higher-cost medicine at home.
No one has ever been arrested or threatened for importing drugs from our northern neighbor. Millions of Americans are now “breaking the law.” I know I am.
Currently, as of July 2009, the US Senate has now”legalized” your drug purchases from Canadian pharmacies. The matter is still pending in the House.
How to Tell If You’re Ordering From a Reputable Canadian Pharmacy
If the pharmacy cannot provide you with an address, phone, or doesn’t require an Rx, don’t use them.
Additionally, all Canadian pharmacies are required to list or verbally give a license number if necessary. If it’s not posted, the customer can always ask for it. Every Province has a College of Pharmacy whereby customers can call a toll free number and verify a license number. Most Colleges have a website, which posts their toll-free number.
The best accreditation is by the Provincial licensing bodies. They all the addresses for pharmaceutical associations across Canada who routinely inspect licensed internet pharmacies and if they are in violation of the pharmacy code of ethics or standards of practice they either have to fix it or lose their license.
Also, there are marketing organizations like CIPA, the North American Pharmacy Accreditation Commission, and Pharmacy Checker whose logos some Canadian pharmacists display.