What do Americans need to know about buying prescription medicine from the neighbors up North? Online Canadian pharmacies have become more popular as Americans searching for “Canadian pharmacy,” want convenient and affordable alternatives to buy name-brand prescriptions, generic and over-the-counter medications. Every day, U.S. residents order millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs online for shipment across the border to their homes. If you’re curious about using an online Canadian pharmacy, check out the following typical questions. The answers will provide a helpful glimpse into what you can expect.
Canadian Pharmacy and International Pharmacy Information
1. Do Canadian Pharmacies Accept and Fill U.S. Prescriptions? More than a million Americans use International Pharmacies to fill essential prescriptions every year. Because of Canada’s proximity to the United States, it’s a popular choice. Canadian pharmacies help people around the world gain access to more affordable medications. Licensed and accredited Canadian pharmacies and approved international fulfillment centers mail more medications to America than other countries.
2. How Does Canada Regulate Medications? Health Canada, a federal government department, is the drug and health product regulator. Under federal law, pharmaceutical companies must submit new drug applications to Health Canada for regulatory review. Canada’s Drug Product Database contains approximately 15,000 human pharmaceutical and biological drugs, veterinary drugs and disinfectant products that Health Canada has approved. The Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate enforces compliance through monitoring activities including industry inspection and product investigation.
3. Does Canada Regulate Its Pharmacies? Since 1998, every Canadian drug establishment must hold an establishment license to fabricate, package, label, distribute, import, wholesale or test a drug. Provincial and federal governments sharepharmacy regulatory responsibilities. The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) advises on good practices.
5. How Does the Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry Compare in Size to Other Countries? As the world’s 11th largest economy, Canada is the eighth biggest pharmaceutical market. Showing steady development, Canada has the fourth fastest growing pharmaceutical industry after China, the U.S. and Spain. America received 74 percent of Canadian pharmaceutical exports in 2012.
6. Has Canada Gained a Reputation for Major Scientific Discoveries and Drug Innovations? Canada’s health science research community consists of over 30,000 investigators in 16 medical schools and over 100 teaching hospitals and research institutes. Innovators have received international recognition for research and product development excellence in genomics, proteomics, vaccine development, medical devices, regenerative medicine (stem cells), protein engineering, immuno-therapies and drug delivery systems. Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies’ new Canadian Innovation Timeline notes 90 years of momentous scientific breakthroughs. They date from the discovery of insulin and the first blood thinners in 1921 to the first HIV preventative vaccine clinical trials in 2011.
7. Are Online Canadian Pharmacies Safe and Reliable so I Can Trust They Will Fill My Order With Quality Medications? According to a new study, the international online pharmacies that external entities like the Canadian International Pharmacy Association and PharmacyChecker.com verify are safe for Americans to use. Licensed and regulated online pharmacies dispense prescription medications from name-brand manufacturers. Look for Canadian International Pharmacy Association and PharmacyChecker.com seals on an individual pharmacy’s website. You also may verify membership on the CIPA website.
8. How Can I Tell Which Canadian Pharmacies Are Rogues or Frauds? A study found that online pharmacies with CIPA or PharmacyChecker.com credentials sell genuine medication, unlike non-credentialed pharmacies. Rogue websites engage in various unsafe practices. They sell substandard or counterfeit medications without prescriptions, won’t admit their true identities and withhold their locations. Fraudulent sites masquerade as Canadian and pharmacies when they’re neither. Some display the Certified Canadian International Pharmacy(CIPA) seal without meeting its stringent rules. Check CIPA’s extensive list of untrustworthy sites to avoid. See PharmacyChecker.com’s checklist to help you detect unregulated sites. Don’t use sites on PharmacyChecker.com’s rogue pharmacy list.
10. How Can I Check Canadian Pharmacy Ratings Online? For PriceGrabber ratings, see the scorecard online. PharmacyChecker.com lists ratings and additional information about online pharmacies on its website. Canadian Drug Talk provides ratings and other details on some Canadian pharmacies. Pharmacies must pass a rigorous verification process for inclusion in eDrugSearch.com’sonline directory.
11. Where Can I Read Canadian Pharmacy Reviews Online? On the PharmacyChecker.com website, check the Customer Feedback column to click through to online reviews of some certified pharmacies. eDrugSearch.com posts customer reviews in its online directory. Read PriceGrabber reviews online.
12. Can a Canadian Pharmacy Fill My Order Without a Doctor’s Prescription? Per CIPA rules, certified Canadian pharmacies must require a prescription from your U.S. physician. Reputable licensed pharmacies will fill your medication only with a valid prescription from a qualified physician licensed in your country of residence. You may buy over-the-counter remedies without a doctor’s authorization.
13. Will I Receive a Genuine Medication if I Use a Canadian Pharmacy That Doesn’t Require a Doctor’s Prescription? For your safety, don’t trustrogue pharmacies that fill medications without prescriptions. You may receive expired or fake drugs.
14. How Can My Doctor or I Provide My Written Prescriptions for a Canadian Pharmacy to Fill? Check any licensed Canadian pharmacy’s website for its specific prescription submission policy. You may need to mail the original. Some pharmacies offer fax and/or email options.
15. Do Canadian Pharmacies Have a Quantity Limit on Prescriptions?CIPA Patient Safetylimits all prescription shipments to a maximum 90-day supply per medication. You may order only as much as your physician prescribes for you. If your prescription is for a one-year supply, a Canadian pharmacy can fill a 90-day supply every three months.
16. How Can I Be Sure the Medications I Receive Are Genuine and Not Counterfeits? Just like your local pharmacy, licensed and regulated online pharmacies dispense prescription medications from the same name-brand manufacturers. The Canadian government’s very strict medication manufacturing requirements are similar to standards in many other leading developed nations. U.S. manufacturers supply some drugs that Canadian pharmacies sell after repackaging. CIPA pharmacies ensure patients have access to quality prescription drugs.
17. Are Canadian Pharmacy Medications Different From Prescriptions I Fill in the U.S.? The branded drugs licensed Canadian pharmacies sell are chemically and therapeutically identical to the ones you get at your local pharmacy. Generally, both come from the same manufacturer. The main differences are the packaging and lower prices. Government regulations dictate each country’s unique packaging requirements. The trade name, form and general appearance also may differ. Canadian drug companies manufacture generic medications according to Canada’s stringent requirements.
18. Do Canadian Pharmacy Medications Come From Other Countries? CIPA-certified Canadian pharmacies and PharmacyChecker-certified international fulfillment centers outside of Canada receive approval from their respective country’s regulatory bodies. They fill and ship orders in accordance with applicable local rules, regulations and laws. Fulfillment centers source medications from various countries including Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Turkey, India, Australia and the United States. Your shipment may come from these or other various locations.
19. How Do Americans Benefit From Using a Canadian Pharmacy Online? In a new study, researchers noted that Canadian pharmacies deliver authentic medications at prices that average 49.2 percent cheaper than U.S.-based online pharmacies. Americans also appreciate the 24/7 convenience of ordering online with medications shipped directly to their homes. Busy customers can avoid waiting in long local pharmacy lines. People who live in rural areas can skip long drives. Those with physical challenges don’t need to leave home. For privacy reasons, some people prefer to receive potentially embarrassing medications by mail instead of from a local pharmacy.
20. What’s the Typical Medication Savings for Ordering From a Canadian Pharmacy Instead of a U.S. One?PharmacyChecker notes that savings may be as high as 90 percent.
21. Why Are American Drug Prices so High? The U.S. pharmaceutical industry continues to be the country’s most profitable business. Research shows that U.S. prescription medication prices are higher than any other developed country. One clinical trial can cost up to $100 million. The total price for developing and manufacturing some American drugs has reached $1 billion.
22. Why Are Medication Prices Lower in Canada Than America? Through price fixing and governmental control, Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board keeps prices down in Canada. Each Canadian province has the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower medication prices to get on its formulary. The standard of living is 20 to 30 percent lower in Canada than in America. Canadian pharmaceutical companies have reduced liability insurance rates, compared to U.S. drug companies that pass their extra costs onto consumers. Canada and other countries may have more affordable generic drugs that aren’t available in the U.S. yet.
23. Can I Compare Prices Between Canadian Pharmacies? Yes. Compare prices at PharmacyChecker.com or eDrugSearch.com although a prescription product search on www.CanadianPharmacyMeds.com website can save you time and usually has the lowest prices on Prescription Medication in the first place. CanadianPharmacyMeds.com offers the “Price Beat” feature that allows you to get a discount on any Prescription Drug that might have a lower price somewhere else.
24. Do Canadian Pharmacy Websites Indicate Savings for Each Medication? Browse individual pharmacy sites. Some may show a comparison of typical U.S. prices with their discounted prices on their most popular medications. Others might indicate your savings in dollars or percentages for some or all drugs. Or compare the price your U.S. pharmacy charges for a specific drug to a Canadian pharmacy’s online price — and marvel at your savings on your own.
25. How Do I Order Prescription Medication From an Online Pharmacy? Each Canadian pharmacy’s website should explain a How to Order Prescription Drugs Online. For customer convenience, you should be able to pick from multiple methods. Typical alternatives include online, telephone, fax, email and mail.
26. May I Order Prescription Refills? CIPA allows a maximum 90-day supply per medication. If your doctor writes a 90-day prescription with enough refills to last a year, a Canadian pharmacy can send a new supply every three months until your prescription expires. After that, you’ll need to submit a new Doctor’s prescription. If your prescription didn’t include refills, many pharmacies offer to contact your doctor on your behalf. Check individual pharmacy websites for Refill Instructions. Common ordering methods include online, phone, email, fax and mail.
27. What Quality Controls Ensure I Receive My Medications Correctly as My Doctor Prescribed Them? According to CIPA, Canadian pharmacies must have a Canadian physician review patient information before authorizing a Canadian prescription. Reputable online pharmacies have a licensed physician review and cosign every prescription before dispensing. Prior to shipping, a qualified licensed pharmacist checks and approves each customer order.
28. Do Canadian Pharmacies Have Extended Weekday and Weekend Hours? Order-processing, customer-service and shipping hours vary by pharmacy. For your convenience, many Canadian pharmacies are open seven days a week with extended weeknight hours. Check individual websites for details.
29. Can I Talk to a Canadian Pharmacy Rep Instead of Using the Website? Check the Customer Service or Contact Us page for phone numbers and hours when you prefer to talk to a person. Many Canadian pharmacies have staff available to answer questions and take phone orders beyond normal business hours. CIPA certification stipulates that reputable licensed pharmacies must provide toll-free phone numbers on their websites. CanadianPharmacyMeds.com toll-free phone number is 1-877-278-5387. PharmacyChecker.com verifies that each pharmacy publishes its phone number(s) on its website. Suspicious sites withhold contact information.
30. Do Canadian Pharmacies Add Sales Tax to My Order? No. They don’t charge sales tax on prescriptions they mail to America.
31. Will Canadian Pharmacies Charge Americans in U.S. or Canadian Dollars? Canadian pharmacies sell medications to Americans in U.S. dollars.
32. If I Order From a Canadian Pharmacy, Will It Inundate Me With Marketing Emails for Other Unwanted Medications? CIPA members never send unsolicited emails advertising their services. Strict provincial, federal and internal policies prohibit spam email marketing. Each licensed pharmacy’s website may offer you the choice of opting in or out of advertising or marketing emails so you won’t receive any without your permission.
33. Should I Trust a Canadian Pharmacy That Sends Me Spam Emails? According to CIPA, don’t deal with fraudulent online pharmacies that contact you by email and direct you to sites named Canadian Healthcare, Canadian Health and Care Mall or drugs5.com. Using fraudulent seals and credentials, these sites receive the most consumer complaints. Most patrons report that these sites charged their credit card, but they didn’t receive their orders. If this occurs, report this fraud to your credit card company. Don’t order from any site that contacts you by email and directs you to a site named My Canadian Pharmacy. This site changes its URL almost every day and makes outrageous claims about its founders and their credentials.
34. Do Canadian Pharmacies Sell Controlled Substances? Per CIPA, members can’t sell controlled substances — even with prescriptions. This includes habit-forming controlled substances and scheduled drugs such as Benzodiazepines.
35. Do Americans Buy Specific Types of Medications From Canadian Pharmacies? A RX Rights Study showed that online pharmacy patrons purchased drugs to treat chronic conditions most often. For example, popular prescriptions include treatments for Asthma, Bipolar Disorder, Blood Clots, Cholesterol, COPD, Depression, Enlarged Prostate, Erectile Dysfunction, GERD, Heartburn, Menopause, Nasal Allergies, Osteoporosis, Psychosis and Schizophrenia.
37. What Types of Over-the-Counter Medications Can I Order From Canadian Pharmacies? Over-the counter (OTC) medications often include Allergy and Sinus; Cough, Cold and Flu; Pain and Fever Relief; and Sleep aids.
38. Which Are Some of the Most Popular Over-the-Counter Medications? Top-selling OTC medications often include Centrum Select vitamins, Nicorette gum and Zyrtec.
39. Can I Save by Purchasing Viagra Online? You can save up to 90 percent by ordering Viagra online, an Erectile Dysfunction (ED) medication also marketed as Revatio, online. Refer to the ordering instructions on individual pharmacy websites.
40. What Are Viagra’s Ingredients? Viagra’s active ingredient is the citrate salt of Sildenafil, a selective inhibitor of cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP)-specific Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). Each Erectile Dysfunction (ED) tablet also contains Microcrystalline Cellulose, Anhydrous Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Croscarmellose Sodium, Magnesium Stearate, Hypromellose, Titanium Dioxide, Lactose, Triacetin and FD and C Blue #2 aluminum lake.
41. Should I Expect Any Side Effects With Viagra? The most common effects are a headache, facial flushing and upset stomach. Viagra also may cause brief bluish or blurred vision or light sensitivity. If you experience chest pain, nausea or any other discomfort during sex or if an erection lasts more than four hours, seek medical attention immediately.
42. Is a Lower-Priced Generic for Viagra Available, and Does It Differ From the Name-Brand Version? Canadian pharmacies fill over 63 percent of all prescriptions with lower-priced generic drugs. The generic equivalent for Viagra, Sildenafil Citrate, includes the same ingredients as a name-brand prescription. Its component proportion may differ, but it retains Viagra’s main properties to work the same.
43. Where Can I Buy Generic Viagra (Sildenafil)? Many licensed online Canadian pharmacies sell generic Sildenafil. Search for the prescription drug or product name to view various strengths, quantities and discount prices.
44. Can I Buy Cialis From a Canadian Pharmacy? Order name-brand Cialis or the generic equivalent Tadalafil online to save an estimated 93 percent over typical prices. Compare available strengths, quantities and prices online. Each tablet contains Tadalafil and the following inactive ingredients: Croscarmellose Sodium, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Hypromellose, Iron Oxide, Lactose Monohydrate, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Talc, Titanium Dioxide and Triacetin.
45. Do Canadian Pharmacies Sell Lower-Priced Actonel? You can save around 85 percent on name-brand Actonel or the generic equivalent Risedronate. These Bisphosphonates prevent or treat osteoporosis in men and women. They alter the bone formation and breakdown cycle. By slowing bone loss while increasing bone mass, these prescriptions may prevent bone fractures.
46. May I Buy Crestor From a Canadian Pharmacy? Yes, and you could save about 84 percent on Crestor or the generic Rosuvastatin. These Statin drugs lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
47. How Much Can I Save by Ordering Nexium From a Canadian Pharmacy? A comparison of name-brand prescription drug prices online shows the average savings outside the U.S. is over 70 percent. According to PharmacyChecker, savings may be as high as 90 percent. Nexium is a Proton Pump Inhibitor that decreases the amount of acid your stomach produces.
48. Can I Save More on Spiriva Though a Canadian Pharmacy? Yes. You could save up to 94 percent on name-brand Spiriva and generic equivalent Tiotropium Bromide when you buy through a Canadian pharmacy. These once-daily COPD maintenance medicines can help you breathe better so you may need your rescue inhaler less often.
49. Can a Canadian Pharmacy Supply Additional Medications That It Doesn’t List on Its Website? If you can’t find your prescription on a Canadian pharmacy website, call or email for personalized assistance. A rep will let you know if it or an equivalent substitute is available.
50. Do Canadian Pharmacies Sell Pet Meds? Many licensed online Canadian pharmacies sell name-brand, generic and over-the-counter Pet Medications at discount prices. You can find pet medications online by using a medication search.