Can Import from Canada Help Saving on Prescription Drugs?

By  //  June 12, 2020

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The recent attempts of President Trump to solve the problem of high prices for prescription drugs by legalizing their import from Canada have failed due to the unwillingness of the Canadian administration to increase export of medications to the Southern neighbor.

The recent attempts of President Trump to solve the problem of high prices for prescription drugs by legalizing their import from Canada have failed due to the unwillingness of the Canadian administration to increase export of medications to the Southern neighbor.

But the precedent has resulted in a rising tide of interest to the problem that more or less actively has been discussed for years.

The debates in media have newly raised many related questions, such as:

• Are prescription drug prices a real problem in the USA?

• Why is it possible that Canada has lower prices for the same medications?

• Can buying from Canadian online pharmacies solve the problem for individuals?

• Is it legal to import medications for personal use?

• How to get rid of fraud online pharmacies?

The purpose of this article is to update the info on the above topics and give an up-to-date view of the matter.

High Prescription Drug Cost in the USA is a Real Issue

The situation is that you need $1000 a month to feed your diabetes unless you have a proper insurance plan that covers everything, which is also expensive and not affordable for everyone.

The nominal median income was $31,786 per capita in 2017 as reported by BBC.com. It is not surprising that a 26-year-old individual died after he was no longer eligible for his mother insurance plan.

GoodRx.com has published the list of most expensive prescription drugs. It says some drugs cost $65,000 per month. You will pay even more for your arthritis than for diabetes that is $38,892.00 per month if you use H.P. Acthar approved in 2010.

Even ED drugs that are not covered by most of the insurance plans can cost you somewhat $400–500 per month if you buy them in a local pharmacy in the USA.

Ihealthtran.com brings together e-pharmacies that always have better price ranges compared to brick-and-mortar pharmacies, making digital shopping an advanced tool for saving on generics. Besides, most insurance companies promote generic drug use by bigger coverage percentage, which doubles the rationality of buying drugs online.

Why Drugs in Canada are Cheaper?

When analyzing medical services in the US and Canada, US experts often blame the Canadian government-supported health care for its slow services and waiting lists.

But the price policy is that single thing they find great. The Canadian government negotiates the medication cost with drug manufacturers and health providers and makes them reduce the prices. The health providers have quotas for the services and drugs, which they cannot exceed.

Can the US Citizens Save Buying in Canadian Pharmacies?

According to PharmacyChecker.com you can save from 50 to 98% buying from verified Canadian pharmacies. For example:

Drug Cost in Canada online Cost in the US Saving, %
Januvia, 100 mg $72.90 $1594 95
Zetia, 10 mg $150.30 $1261 88
Ventolin HFA, 90 mcg $68.86 $218 68

Is It Legal for Individuals to Purchase Medication Online from Abroad?

It is a tricky question. The FDA says:

“In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States.”

They explain that is for the safety reasons, for the FDA cannot control the quality of the drugs bought abroad. Really?

Let us imagine that you are an American citizen who, by some circumstances, temporarily lives in Canada. You buy in a Canadian local pharmacy generic Viagra approved by Health Canada for Canadian people but not approved by the FDA, and you are okay. It is legal, and there is no harm to your health.

But if you cross the US border with a pack of that Viagra in your baggage, you break the rules, and, furthermore, your health is at risk. Did not we say it is a tricky question? Finally, everyone makes his own decision, whether it is legal and safe to import medication from Canada.

How to Stay Safe When Buying in Online Pharmacy?

The scale of the problem is often exaggerated. Thus, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy says that 98% of web sources are unsafe for purchasing medications online. The WHO claims that about 50% are. But, in reality, it may be not that bad.

When students of the University of California, San Francisco undertook a random study of medications ordered from 35 different websites, only three of them (8,6%) failed into the category “highly not recommended”. The study assessed the prices, procedures of approval, legacy of import procedures, validity of website information, accuracy of delivery, and drug quality.

Although 8.6% is also a high percentage of unsafe online stores, it is a disaster. Those three pharmacies claimed as “highly not recommended” are failed to deliver at all or delivered fake medicines.

They were indefinable companies that hid their address and did not provide any valid information. The others were existing companies that deliver real drugs but sometimes with poor services and quality procedures different from those approved by the FDA.

To avoid real frauds, you should use your reason and do not order from those websites that look suspicious:

1. The websites that do not contain any information about the company, including street address, phone numbers, and license information.

2. One-page websites designed solely for quick sales.

3. Not protected websites that cannot guarantee the safety of your payment and personal data.

There are other details you have to pay attention:

• How the information about products present (photo of the pills and package, information about the manufacturer, etc.). A trusted company that sells generic drugs never claims it is a brand medicine.

• How it is delivered. Avoid buying bulk! All the products should be marked and contain the name of the drug, manufacturer’s name, seller’s name, batch number, quantity, and expiration date. If you already got your delivery, but it looks suspicious, it is better not to use medicine and send a claim to the seller. You can also check the drug quality in your local chemical laboratory if it is expensive medicine for life-threatening conditions.

• Pay attention to the conditions of canceling order and payment return. If this information is lacking or unclear, it is better not to use this store.

It is nice if the company has additional information about the membership in professional associations and verification programs but the absence of this information doesn’t mean that the pharmacy is illegal or not credible. It means only that it is not a member of those services that normally consider only websites of their members trusted.

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