Consumers determined to save money on their prescription medications have options. Among them is purchasing from online Canadian pharmacies. But is that a wise idea? It depends on who you ask. The US pharmaceutical industry will tell you it is a bad idea across the board. Canadian pharmacies will tell you it’s a great idea.
So, how do you know whether an online Canadian pharmacy is legit? For starters, all legitimate pharmacies require a valid prescription. Never buy medications from one that does not. You are asking for trouble if you do.
It is always possible to wind up with counterfeit drugs when purchasing from online Canadian pharmacies. Yet you can just as easily get your prescription filled at a local pharmacy only to find out later that you were given a counterfeit.
The US Department of Justice successfully prosecuted a Canadian pharmacy back in 2018 for selling bogus cancer drugs to American healthcare providers. That was a case in which consumers were not having prescriptions filled online. They were getting the drugs from legitimate US providers who were purchasing from the Canadian pharmacy.
Buying with a Prescription
Getting back to the prescription issue, legitimate pharmacies certified by legitimate accrediting agencies and governed by Canadian regulations will always ask for prescriptions. Canada Pharmacy is a good example. They require a 2-step process to validate a consumer’s prescription.
When you first place your order, you send a copy of your prescription via email or fax. Doing so allows them to start the process. But then you have to actually mail the original prescription to them. They require both before you can get your medication.
This seems like a lot of trouble just to scam consumers, which is the whole point. Canada Pharmacy wants the guarantee they are not selling drugs to customers without valid prescriptions. At the same time, the extra steps give consumers some assurance that they are dealing with a legit company.
When Pharmacies Don’t Require Prescriptions
When an online Canadian pharmacy doesn’t require a prescription, what are the chances it’s concerned about making sure you’re getting what you’re paying for? You can answer that question for yourself. At any rate, a legitimate prescription is the starting point for any pharmacy. Without one, how can pharmacists have any confidence in the legitimacy of the consumer’s need?
Furthermore, selling prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription is against the law. An online pharmacy willing to break the law is probably not concerned about making sure it’s not selling counterfeit drugs.
Not requiring a prescription is a huge red flag. Whether or not you should buy from such a pharmacy shouldn’t even be a question. Remember that prescription medications are controlled substances. That’s why they are available only through prescriptions. Any pharmacy dealing in controlled substances outside of the dictates of the law is trouble.
Use Your Common Sense
So, should you avoid Canadian drugs together? No. Any blanket statements to that affect are bad news and should be ignored. There are good and bad players in every industry. One bad online Canadian pharmacy doesn’t make them all bad. Likewise, not every US pharmacy is good simply because it is located in this country and regulated by the FDA.
Your best bet is to utilize the common sense you were given. Before you purchase a prescription medication from any pharmacy – be it stateside or Canadian – think things through. Common sense has the unique ability to raise red flags when necessary. If you are thinking things through and have any concerns, walk away and find another pharmacy.