Safety and Anonymity Issues Of Ordering Drugs In Canadian Pharmacies
By Space Coast Daily // May 12, 2020
Against the background of unaffordable priced medicines, the episodes of skipping treatment are not limited to the treatment of mild diseases.
According to the results of the study that has been recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, patients fighting against cancer are also frequently forced to abandon their treatment because of the lack of money.
And in such cases such skipping means death. So, in 2014–2015 67% of those who had a co-payment of $2,000 and more per month did not buy the medicines needed.
And there are thousands of people who don’t even have insurance and have to pay the full price. There are also statistics showing that 25% of patients suffering from diabetes buy less insulin than they actually need, and that underconsumption is also associated with financial problems.
According to the statistics, about 18% of adults in the USA have to skip their treatment courses because of the financial issues, they just can’t afford to buy the drugs prescribed!
For reference, in Canada, our close neighbor, that figure is almost two times less — 10%, according to the resource Oehha.org that regularly monitors the cluster of pharmacy shoppers in need of drug assistance programs. And in the United Kingdom it is even lower — only 2%. By the way, in most high-developed countries the situation resembles that in the UK.
But what is the actual difference between drug prices in the USA and comparable countries? It reaches 80–150%! And with some expensive medicines that may mean hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Why Do Americans Have to Overpay for their Drugs?
The main difference between the pharmaceutical markets in the USA and, for example, in Canada is the governmental regulation of prices.
In Canada, there is a specialized board that is responsible for negotiating with drug manufacturers. In case a pharmaceutical company wants to introduce a new product in the local market, its representatives have to convince the members of the board that the price proposed is reasonable.
To evaluate the proposals of manufacturers, the board use the information on the prices of similar products in comparable countries. The list of such countries is regularly updated.
As for the American market, manufacturers can set any prices they consider to be acceptable. In our country, there are no price controls for the drug market.
Sure, pharmaceutical giants do their best to justify high prices. They claim that the bigger part of their profits is spent on researches. But experts say that advertising and marketing takes much more money.
In fact, millions of American citizens have to choose between buying medicines or purchasing food for their families, just because the manufacturers of drugs use the American market to regain all the profits they lose while selling their products to the countries with the governmental regulation of prices.
Nevertheless, there are people who support the idea of the non-regulated market. The point is that pharmaceutical companies tend to present new products to the markets with no price limits in the first place. Indeed, Canadians and people from other countries with low drug prices get access to new drugs with delays. The waiting period usually reaches several months.
As you can see, there are two sides of the market model we have. In any case the situation is not likely to change in the nearest future, so people have to search for an effective solution.
Saving on Drugs by Buying from Canadian Drugstores
Every American knows that in Canada drug prices are much lower, so shopping in the Canadian pharmacies is the most obvious way out.
There are thousands of people who make trips to the neighboring country in order to save on medicines on a regular basis. Sure, for those who live near the border that’s no bother at all.
However, that’s not the only option available. Today you can buy drugs from Canada without even leaving your house — on the Internet. In Canada there are dozens of online drugstores shipping medications worldwide, including the USA.
Such shopping involves a range of advantages:
• You do not need to waste time walking around the city in search of the necessary medicine and standing in lines.
• Online pharmacies frequently offer prices that are lower than that at the local offline drugstores. You can also save more by tracking promotions and placing orders during sales periods.
• You can also order generics there, i.e. drugs that have the same active ingredients and produce the same effect as the brand ones, but cost much less, due to the fact that they are manufactured in the countries with the lower level of salaries.
• Your privacy will be 100% protected.
• If necessary you will have the opportunity to get a free consultation with a professional doctor.
• Online pharmacies work 24/7, so you can make purchases at any time convenient for you.
• The products from internet drugstores are as safe and effective as those from any American pharmacy.
Sure, it is advisable to take precautions and to examine the pharmacy before placing an order, for example, to read the reviews about it on the Internet and to compare its prices with those at other drugstores. They should not differ significantly. If the prices seem to be too attractive, it is preferable to search for the other website.
As you can see, buying from Canadian pharmacies is a perfect solution to the problem of high drug prices in the USA. Still, there are people who abandon such a great opportunity and keep overpaying for medicines or skipping their treatment courses. What`s the reason? American laws.
Legal Issues Associated with Purchasing Medications from Canada
The most common reason why Americans avoid buying medicines from Canada is fear. First of all, they are afraid of punishment. Purchasing drugs from abroad is illegal. However, that doesn’t mean that you will be punished.
According to FDA, importing medicines is illegal, because such medicines have not been approved by FDA itself, so it cannot guarantee that they are safe and effective enough.
Still, there are situations when you may be allowed to import a drug:
• You suffer from a serious disease, and the treatment for it is not available in the USA.
• Using the medicine is not associated with unreasonable risks.
• You agree to provide a written declaration of intent to use the drug for personal purposes only, to show the contacts of the doctor who has prescribed it or to prove that you have started to take the drug while living abroad and need to continue the course of treatment.
• You try to import the quantity needed for not more than 3 months.
• The medicine is not sold or advertised in the USA.
• In fact, FDA sticks to the non-enforcement policy. Those who import drugs for personal use are not likely to be prosecuted.
The main purpose of this organization is to ensure the safety of Americans. They are not interested in economic or political issues.
The second factor that prevents US citizens from buying medicines from Canada is a fear of counterfeits. However, the reasons for such a fear are not clear enough. Canada is a well-developed country with the government that pays much attention to the quality of medicines offered to the citizens. So, there is no need to worry about the effectiveness or safety issues.
One should also note that there is a good chance that in the future importing drugs from Canada will get legal. So, the administration of the current president Donald Trump and the authorities of a range of American states have already worked out the corresponding draft legislation.
At the same time the representatives of the Canadian government have voiced opposition to such steps. The reason is that the American market is significantly bigger than the Canadian one, so the rise in the import of drugs is likely to be dramatic, and that may lead to negative consequences, namely to the shortage which will result in price increases.
They recommend the US government to search for other solutions to the problem.
Sure, if necessary Canada can set limits on the amount of drugs, that are allowed to be exported, or take some other steps to protect its citizens.
Sure, pharmaceutical companies working in the American market also act against the legalization of import and take every effort to prevent the new legislation from coming into force.
However, such intentions of the government count in favor of the safety of buying from Canadian pharmacies. Try to place an order and you will see that there is no need to overpay.
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