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6 Myths About Online Canadian Pharmacies

March 17, 2020

online pharmacy safety

The topic of affordable healthcare and the out of control costs of prescription drugs is one of the most controversial and politically fraught conversations in the United States. While citizens of other rich and developed countries take access to quality, affordable healthcare for granted as an obvious human right, millions of Americans are just one illness or medical emergency away from possible bankruptcy and financial ruin.

In the worst cases, Americans are actually dying because they can’t afford the inflated prices of lifesaving medications. However, even the most basic and commonly prescribed medications, like statins, antidepressants, or EpiPens, have doubled or tripled in price in recent years, to the point where they’re out of reach for the average American individual or family, even with health insurance.

Not surprisingly, more and more Americans are looking for alternatives to the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry in the United States to get the medications they need. While some Americans have the means and circumstances to cross the border into Canada to shop for their medications in person, shopping for prescription medication online at a reputable Canadian pharmacy is a much better option for most Americans.

Online Canadian pharmacies should be an easy and accessible option for American consumers, but pharmaceutical companies in the United States will do anything to protect their profits and monopoly of the prescription drug market, including spreading misinformation and engaging in fear mongering.

Performing due diligence is important to ensure that you're getting the right medications from a responsible and reputable pharmacy anywhere, whether it's in the United States,Canada or abroad. However, it's also important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to shopping for prescription medications from pharmacies in Canada, which is a perfectly safe and affordable alternative for many American citizens.

The Most Common Online Canadian Pharmacy Myths

If you're considering buying prescription medications from a Canadian pharmacy in order to save money, you're not alone. Prescription drug and medication prices have gotten so out of control in the United States that a cottage industry of medical and prescription tourism has spawned to help Americans access the medications they need without going bankrupt or into debt. Legitimate Canadian pharmacies offer safe and affordable products to American consumers.

Here are some of the most common and prevalent myths and misconceptions about getting affordable prescriptions in Canada to help you get started.

MYTH: Buying Prescription Drugs Online From a Canadian Pharmacy is Not Safe

Buying anything on the internet involves a certain degree of risk. Whether you're shopping for a new computer or even a pair of sneakers on Amazon or an unknown e-commerce site, there’s always a possibility that the product, manufacturer, or vendor is misrepresenting their business and their product.

The stakes are naturally much higher when it comes to shopping for prescription drugs on the internet, and you should never buy anything, especially your medication, from a vendor and website that you haven't verified and feel 100% confident is safe to use. However, legitimate Canadian pharmacies are subject to safety protocols and standards that are comparable to American pharmacies.

In fact, studies have shown that American pharmacies not automatically "safer" than pharmacies in Canada or Europe, and they can be prone to making errors. According to reporting from The New York Times:

Lynne Calloway had been taking a newly refilled arthritis prescription for a few days when she mentioned she wasn't feeling well. So her husband, Joseph Calloway, did some investigating. When he looked up her medication in a book detailing prescription drugs, he said, he discovered that she had been given the wrong one.

A CVS in New Jersey had mistakenly dispensed a chemotherapy drug, he said, that could be used to treat arthritis, but only when taken at limited frequencies — commonly a single dose a week.

Mrs. Calloway had been taking her medication twice a day. Pharmacy errors come in various forms, and many pharmacists at retail chains across the country are increasingly worried about making mistakes, an investigation by The New York Times found. They say they are juggling too many tasks without enough help. One pharmacist acknowledged making 10 to 12 errors a year — "that are caught" — in an anonymous letter to the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

In fact, it can be argued that the for-profit system actually puts both pharmacists and consumers in dangerous situations due to the pressure to constantly prioritize and increase corporate profits and meet endless shareholder demands.

In Canada, where prescription drug prices are regulated and the government has the power to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to keep costs down and to protect consumers from price gouging and profiteering, prescription medications are not treated as commodities and pharmacists less incentivized to cut corners.

As too many Americans have tragically learned, a healthcare and pharmaceutical industry driven by profit at all costs is a truly dangerous system that puts everyone at risk.

At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we take steps to protect our customers and ensure prescription and drug safety and satisfaction in a number of ways:

  • Certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC)
  • Partner exclusively with a small selection of CIPA certified suppliers
  • Transparent fulfillment process
  • Dedicated customer service team
  • Norton Shopping Guarantee

We encourage our current and prospective customers to consult with our customer service experts before placing an order. Developing a relationship with your pharmacist and independently reviewing every prescription for accuracy before taking it is the best way to protect yourself and your family from potentially serious or even fatal errors.

MYTH: Online Pharmacies Have Poor Customer Service

Good customer service is the hallmark of a reputable and safe Canadian pharmacy. Before you place an order for medication online, make sure that you can contact the pharmacy directly to discuss your needs before placing an order.

There are many disreputable companies and organizations on the internet selling dangerous or counterfeit products in North America and around the world, but a trustworthy and legitimate Canadian pharmacy will always offer and prioritize customer service.

At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we do everything in our power to make sure our customers are satisfied. That's why we have collected over 350,000 reviews with a 4.8/5 average rating.

MYTH: You Won’t Know Where Your Medications Come From

Canada has very stringent safety protocols and requirements in place to protect Canadian citizens from dangerous or ineffective medications, and that extends to our American customers.

The prescription medications sold in Canada are the same or very similar to the prescriptions sold in the United States in most cases, and many of the most commonly prescribed medications are manufactured by the same pharmaceutical companies for a global customer base.

When you're buying your medications online from a trusted and certified Canadian pharmacy, you're getting a product that has met safety and screening protocols that are comparable to those in the United States. Many of the medications sold in Canadian pharmacies are sourced from Canadian suppliers, or from trusted third-party countries that have to meet CIPA guidelines and standards in order to partner with us.

MYTH: Canadian Pharmacies Have Little or No Quality Control

Safety and quality control go hand in hand, and Canadian pharmacies are no exception. Despite the fear mongering that goes on and the propaganda surrounding medications from Canada and other countries, quality control throughout the supply chain is a given in the Canadian market.

In fact, even President Donald Trump has proposed turning to Canada to help ease the financial burden that expensive prescription drugs are placing on a growing number of Americans. According to The Guardian:

The Trump administration, eager to show progress on prescription drug costs, on Wednesday moved forward on its plan to allow Americans to safely and legally get access to lower-priced medicines from abroad. Health officials unveiled a proposed regulation that would allow states to import many brand name drugs from Canada, with federal oversight.

A second draft plan would let pharmaceutical companies seek approval to import their own drugs, from any country. It’s unclear that either idea will have an impact on patients' costs ahead of the 2020 election, but the Trump administration has advanced beyond its predecessors in trying to set up a supervised system for importing drugs. Medicines cost less in other advanced countries because the governments take an active role in setting prices.

In Canada, where access to affordable medication is not treated as a profit-making industry to the extent it is in America, getting safe, high quality medications into the hands of consumers is the point. In general, many prescription drugs are cheaper in Canada and other countries due to government regulations that keep them affordable, not for lack of quality.

MYTH: You Get Lower Quality Generic Versions of Brand Name Drugs

One of the many factors that makes so many medications unaffordable in the United States is lack of access and availability to generic versions of popular brand name drugs. While it’s true that not every brand name drug has a viable generic alternative available, and sometimes one version of a medication is more appropriate and effective than another depending on the patient and their individual circumstances, profit and market factors also play a big role.

For example, many pharmaceutical companies abuse the patent system in the United States to keep cheaper, generic versions of popular medications off the market for years or even decades. They also spend hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing and advertising campaigns designed to sell the American public on higher priced brand name drugs.

When you get a prescription, ask your doctor and pharmacist if a generic alternative is available and appropriate to help you save money. When you shop at NorthWestPharmacy.com, your medications will be dispensed as prescribed and you will always know what you're buying and what you can expect.

MYTH: Lower Prices "Stifle" Innovation and Make it Harder to Develop New Drugs and Therapies

Of all the myths involving the price of prescription drugs and the justifications for astronomical drug prices in the United States, this is probably one of the most pervasive and misleading. While it's true that pharmaceutical companies tend to spend a larger share of revenue on research and development costs, the average company only spends about 17%. According to industry data:

As of 2019, many of the largest pharmaceutical firms spend nearly 20% on R&D. Of the 20 largest R&D spending industries in the world, the pharmaceutical industry makes up nearly half the list. As of June 30, 2019, AstraZeneca (AZN) blazed the path by spending 25.63% of revenues on research and development.

Holding strong, Eli Lilly (LLY) spent 22.38% of its revenues on R&D as of March 31, 2019. Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) wasn't far behind with 21.29% spent on R&D as of June 30, 2019.

Falling just below 20%, multinational biotechnology companies Biogen (BIIB) and Merck spent 15.41% as of June 30, 2019, and 19.70% as of March 31, 2019, respectively. Pfizer (PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are closer to the 15% level. On the lower end of the spectrum, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) dedicates about 7% of revenues to R&D spending as of June 30, 2019.

The fact is that many of the medications that have faced the steepest price hikes in recent years are medications that have been on the market for years, with little to no changes or improvements in some cases. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry imposes automatic price hikes on hundreds of medications across the board in the United States every year.

Often, organizations that promote pharmaceutical and pharmacy interests in the United States argue that Americans shouldn’t be able to buy drugs from Canadian pharmacies, as it might have a domino effect on the price of drugs in the United States. To be blunt, we do not agree and feel that Americans should be able to safely purchase drugs from online pharmacies.

Learn More About Online Canadian Pharmacies

Making informed decisions about your healthcare and understanding your options is essential for your own and your family’s health and wellbeing. Our customer service associates are dedicated to answering all of your questions, and providing you with the transparency and information you need to find the best prices on your medications.

For more information, call our toll free number today 1-800-539-5330 or contact us online to get started.

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