Don’t Use Canadian Internet Pharmacies, Buy Your Drugs from Safe, Affordable US Licensed Pharmacies
Safe and affordable medicine is available to Americans both where they live and online. Don’t let shady unlicensed drug sellers use the phrase “Canadian pharmacy” to lure you into potentially dangerous and ultimately too expensive drugs. You can get real, safe, and affordable medicines both in your hometown and online from legitimate, U.S. licensed pharmacies.
Why was CanadaDrugs.com shut down?
CanadaDrugs.com shut down as part of a plea deal they reached with the U.S. Department of Justice after the company was indicted for selling $78 million in counterfeit chemotherapy drugs to over 130 doctors offices and clinics across the United States. The vials contained no active ingredient, depriving cancer patients of recovery while lining the pockets of the Canadadrugs.com CEO.
1. Don’t be duped by Canada Drugs copycats
CanadaDrugs.com is not the only online pharmacy that has been caught selling counterfeit, bad quality medicine to American patients. The pills you buy online might look exactly like the real thing from your local pharmacy, but all it takes to make an identical pill is a pill press, some talc, and glue.
Dr. Kenneth McCall, of the University of New England, tested prescriptions from Canada Drug Center and found they were substandard and contaminated. After ordering Plavix, Celebrex, and Nexium, he was shipped unapproved versions that came directly from India, Turkey, and Mauritius instead of from the Canadian drug supply advertised. Dr. McCall conducted compositional tests on the drugs and found the “Nexium” contained only 58% of the stated dose, the “Celebrex” was only 77% of a standard dose, and the “Plavix” was contaminated!
Canadian pharmaceutical importer Quantum Solutions and its officers were charged with two felony counts by the DOJ in 2017. Quantum Solutions owns 241 different pharmacy websites, including Canada Drug Center.
2. Don’t be fooled by fake pharmacy certification programs
Legitscript warns that CanadaDrugs.com and Canada Drug Center have been listed as certified “safe” Internet pharmacies by both PharmacyChecker and the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), neither of which is a legitimate regulating body for U.S. citizens. The only entity that has the authority to license pharmacies for American patients are state boards of pharmacy. They have licensed many Internet pharmacies that you can find at https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/dotpharmacy/
What protects you from getting ripped off is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on the medication and the state Board of Pharmacy certification on your pharmacy.
3. Affordable, legitimate medication can be found at online websites that end in .pharmacy
LegitScript estimated that 30,000 - 35,000 online pharmacies don’t adhere to applicable legal requirements, or about 96% of the websites that sell prescription drugs online. How can you verify your online source is actually safe? When the domain name ends in .pharmacy. That means that those websites are certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and are properly licensed and follow applicable U.S. state and federal laws as well as best business practices. You can find a list of hundreds of online pharmacies licensed in the U.S. at https://nabp.pharmacy/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NABP-approved-websites-July-13-2018.xlsx
4. Generics are the best way to save
The simple and fastest way to lower a prescription’s cost by up to 85% is to choose the generic version whenever possible. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients and are just as effective and safe as the brand-name drugs. The FDA is working hard to approve more generic versions of medicines so that American consumers can save. In 2017, they approved over 1,000 new ones.
5. Price compare - with insurance and paying cash
Different pharmacies may charge vastly different amounts of money for the same prescription. Consumer Reports’ researchers priced compared five different commonly filled generic medicines (generic versions of Actos, Celebrex, Cymbalta, Lipitor, and Plavix), and found that the same prescriptions, in the same town, can vary greatly.
Compare prices across local independent pharmacies, big chains and legitimate online pharmacies using GoodRx. Download and install GoodRx’s app on your smartphone so you can quickly check what the cash price is at different pharmacies in your area. If your insurance has a high co-payment for medicine, not using it and just paying cash might cost you less.
6. There are assistance programs to help you get the medicines you need
If none of the advice above helps enough, there are prescription assistance programs run by many drug companies to make sure you get the medicine that you need. You can find comprehensive listings for patient assistance programs online at www.needymeds.org and medicineassistancetool.org. Each program has different eligibility requirements, and many will require your doctor’s participation, but many are open to people from diverse financial circumstances.
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