Is It Illegal To Purchase Prescription Drugs From Canada

More American consumers are buying prescription drugs abroad. Learn the laws and regulations here.

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  • MADISON -- If you purchase prescription drugs in Wisconsin, chances are, you pay more for them than consumers in almost any other state. A Wisconsin law forces drug stores to increase prices, but both and in the state are working to repeal "the medicine markup."

    According to a poll carried out on behalf of The Wall Street Journal in 2006, over 80% of Americans agree that it should be legal to import drugs from Canada that have been approved and vetted by Health Canada. The survey also discovered that more than one in ten Americans have purchased prescription drugs from .

  • This study focused on the motivations for using no-prescription online pharmacies (NPOPs) to purchase prescription drugs rather than using the traditional doctor-patient-pharmacy model. We also studied whether users of NPOP-purchased drugs had poorer health outcomes than those who obtain the same drug through legitimate health care channels.

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    There has been an increasing demand in the United States for cheap Canadian drugs. Prices for prescription medicine in the U.S. are among the highest in the world. People who require regular medication can find that they can not afford the drugs they need. Accordingly, they turn to cheap Canadian drugs. The savings can be high, with people saving as much as 80% on the price of their prescription medicines.

    Why are Canadian drugs cheap?
    The drug companies in the U.S. have tirelessly campaigned against not only price-controls for prescription drugs but against the importation of cheaper drugs from elsewhere. Their motive is not greed, they say, but to raise the finances necessary to research, discover and produce new and more effective medications. Currently the cost of manufacturing prescription drugs is low but the cost of research into new drugs is high. Without the revenue from prescription drugs, new research can not be funded.

    Canadian drugs are cheaper to buy because the prices on prescription medicines are fixed. This does not mean that the drugs themselves are necessarily inferior to U.S. produced medications. As we have already noted, the manufacturing costs for medications are low, and so cheap Canadian drugs do not mean that costs are cut in production. In fact, Canadian drugs are regulated by Health Canada, a similar organization to the U.S. regulatory body, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    How popular are these cheap Canadian drugs?
    According to a poll carried out on behalf of The Wall Street Journal in 2006, over 80% of Americans agree that it should be legal to import drugs from Canada that have been approved and vetted by Health Canada. The survey also discovered that more than one in ten Americans have purchased prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.

    How to purchase cheap Canadian drugs
    There are three ways to obtain prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies. The first is to actually visit a pharmacy in Canada and buy the medication over the counter. The second is to order the drugs you require through a mail order service. The third, and increasingly popular method, is to go through an online website.

  • LocationShare of respondents
    A chain drug store (e.g., Walgreens, CVS, Eckerd) 32%
    The pharmacy at a discount store (e.g., Wal-Mart, Target, Sam's Club) 17%
    Online or by mail order 14%
    The pharmacy at a supermarket (e.g., Safeway, Shop Rite or Kroger) 11%
    A local independent pharmacy 7%
    The pharmacy at a hospital or medical center 5%
    Somewhere else 2%
    Never purchase prescription drugs 11%

    This statistic depicts locations where U.S. consumers mainly purchased prescription drugs in 2014. The survey revealed that 14 percent of respondents most often purchased their prescription drugs online or by mail order.

Is Buying Prescription Drugs Online Legal? - Verywell

No matter which option you choose, your prescriptions are filled in strict accordance with industry standards and in full compliance with the requirements of regulatory authorities. This is a safe way to purchase prescription drugs that are manufactured to the same high standards that apply in the United States. If you have any questions, you can speak to one of our licensed pharmacists.