PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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An article by Joe Rothstein in EIN News concerning personal drug importation and online pharmacies recently caught our eye for two reasons. First, Mr. Rothstein called out the pharmaceutical industry for funding groups that give poor advice to consumers about buying medication online. Second, Mr. Rothstein identified as a source for “providing a list of certified Canadian suppliers who sell at prices usually well below the cost of U.S. pharmacies.” It is true that we do that, but our efforts extend far beyond Canada; we also verify and inspect pharmacies in many other countries, which was not mentioned in the article.

So what’s the issue? Remember, that according to the FDA, personally importing medication under most circumstances is technically illegal. Of course, many of us believe that it can be and is done very safely. Mr. Rothstein’s article states “…defenders of the importation law argue that thousands of phony online sites claim to be ‘Canadian’ to fool the unwary, and for self-protection consumers should avoid Canadian sites entirely.” Opponents of personal drug importation use those quotes around Canadian because they believe that dangerous rogue online pharmacies deceive consumers by claiming to be Canadian, only to ship medication from another country. On this count we agree with Big Pharma, however there are also safe Canadian online pharmacies that do refer prescription orders to licensed pharmacies in other countries. verifies companies like this, making sure that every pharmacy a medication is shipped from is licensed and requires valid prescriptions.

Today, international online pharmacy takes place in a global marketplace. Yes, the history of Americans importing drugs for personal use begins with Canada (and even Mexico), when in a pre-Internet age Americans would cross the border to buy cheap meds. Then a crop of Canadian pharmacies began to operate online. In 2004, we began verifying pharmacies in several other countries that filled order for online Canadian pharmacies in our program. Canadian pharmacies were going global in part because drug companies actually cut supplies to pharmacies based in Canada that mailed prescription drugs to Americans, and also to offer medication from countries with lower prices than Canada.

So what’s the difference between a rogue “Canadian” online pharmacy and a verified Canadian pharmacy website when they both ship from pharmacies outside Canada? The rogue pharmacy has a much higher chance of causing you harm, especially if it doesn’t require a prescription, doesn’t send meds from licensed pharmacies, or lies about where your medication comes from. There’s no accountability. When ordering from PharmacyChecker-verified Canadian online pharmacies, you will be given the choice where your meds come from, you will know your medication is coming from a licensed pharmacy, and you will have to have a valid prescription. verifies pharmacies in Australia, Barbados, Canada, India, Mauritius, New Zealand, Turkey, U.S., U.K, and Singapore. Pharmacies in Barbados, India, Mauritius, and Singapore undergo a rigorous inspection for safety and drug quality. You can read about our standards. Keep in mind, the medications at your local U.S. pharmacy come from literally dozens of countries, with most generics coming from India.

We contacted Mr. Rothstein to let him know that the Canadian online pharmacy industry is global to help him in his future coverage of issues relating to prescription drug importation, online pharmacies and affordability. We want you to find the safest medication at a price you can afford, but we also want you to know where it’s coming from. The seal on a website will let you know that you are working with a real pharmacy, no matter where your meds come from.



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