“Canadian” Pharmacies. Buyer Beware. Low Cost Comes At a Price
Experts agree the low price is not worth the uncertainty and risk
By Patrick M. Carpenter, BSP, MS, PharmD
Director of Clinical Affairs at menMD
Sept. 18, 2017 – Patients often ask for my opinion on obtaining drugs inexpensively through online sources listed as “Canadian” Pharmacies. My reply is always the same, that I don’t recommend it. The reason is because there is a price for the certainty of safety that is inherent with drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration – drugs bearing a supply chain history indicating they were intended for sale in the United States.
The drug you are buying may not have any active ingredient in it. Even in cases where my patients have used “Canadian” drugs and stated they work, I still ask, what else is in it? What slowly poisonous unlabeled excipient may be in that pharmaceutical that could be damaging your body? Counterfeit Viagra tablets have been discovered in other countries that looked exactly like real, brand name Viagra. Upon analysis, they were found to contain lead based highway paint.
My point is that even if these “Canadian” drugs work for you, other ingredients may be damaging your body. There’s no guarantee that the drugs are real, safe, or even from Canada.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has reviewed nearly 11,700 websites using the terms “Canada” or “Canadian” since 2008. Ninety Six percent (96%) of these sites operate not in compliance with governing laws or regulations. In an additional recent study of 100 of these sites, seventy four percent (74%) were found to be sourcing drugs outside of Canada, many offering drugs imported from India. Almost 10,000 of these sites didn’t even require a valid prescription before dispensing a drug.
If a website is selling you drugs without a prescription, this is clearly against the law. If a company is willing to break laws about prescriptions, is it a far cry to believe they would also break laws that are intended to keep you safe? I think not.
Some deals are too good to be true. Low cost “Canadian” drugs may come at the price of your health and safety. Why risk it? Certainty has a price, and it’s worth it.
The link to the NABP study can be found below. Meanwhile, call your menMD Case Manager to discuss getting your medicine that will be labeled appropriately, contain what it is supposed to, have only approved ingredients, and will come to you at a reasonable price.