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Here Are the Most Common Online Canadian Pharmacy Questions

January 3, 2020

high drug prices

Canadian and USA flags

As an international and online Canadian pharmacy website, we get a lot of questions from prospective patients. Some of them are so common that we answer them dozens of times every single day.

As such, we thought it would be helpful to compile some of the most frequent ones together so you may find the answers you're looking for more easily.

(Not that we don't love talking to you — please call us if you have questions!)

How Do I Know if a Canadian Online Pharmacy is Trustworthy and Safe?

Canadian online pharmacies are accredited and supervised by specific self-regulatory-type organizations. There are multiple ways you can determine if the site you're visiting is trustworthy and safe.

Accreditation from the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) is perhaps the most important certification an online pharmacy can obtain. A key purpose of CIPA is to help ensure the safety and accuracy of international online prescription sales.

Therefore, CIPA doesn't hand out their seal of approval to just anyone — there are only about 70 online pharmacies that bear their official certification seal, and we're very proud to be among them.

CIPA member pharmacies follow similar prescription fulfillment process and quality control as U.S.-based mail order pharmacies, such as Express Scripts and CVS Caremark. CIPA member pharmacies require a valid, signed prescription written by a qualified healthcare provider prior to order fulfillment.

As a result of their strict standards, CIPA-approved online pharmacies are often the most highly rated. You can see a full list of their certified online pharmacies here.

Another self-regulatory type body is the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC). The IPABC is very similar in purpose and standards to CIPA. In fact, in order to obtain CIPA certification, the pharmacy must also be certified by IPABC, if the website's Canadian dispensing pharmacy is located in the Province of British Columbia (BC). You can see a full list of their certified pharmacies (which proudly includes NorthWestPharmacy.com) by clicking here.

The main difference between the two organizations is that the IPABC focuses more on brick-and-mortar pharmacies that operate within BC.

Beyond the formal accreditation organizations, it's always a good idea to read reviews from other patients of the online pharmacy. Shopper Approved and Trustpilot are two independent organizations that allow verified customers to rate their experiences with companies with the goal of helping other people make informed decisions about where to spend their hard-earned money.

NorthWestPharmacy.com is very proud to say that our patients have given us wonderful reviews on both sites. We have over 350,000 reviews through Shopper Approved — the vast majority of which are full five-stars — and many thousands more reviews through Trustpilot, where we are given the rating of "Excellent" as part of our stellar Trustscore. All these have made us the most independently five star rated online pharmacy in the world.

All of these are key factors to consider when determining how safe and trustworthy any online pharmacy is. If they're CIPA-certified (and IPABC-certified, if the online pharmacy's dispensing Canadian pharmacy is in BC) and receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from their previous customers (like NorthWestPharmacy.com does), you've likely found a good option. The more reviews they've received, the better.

Is it Cheaper to Order from an Online Canadian Pharmacy?

The short answer to this question is yes.

Chances are, your next question is: How much cheaper?

The exact amount varies based on market prices and the specific medication you need. Generally speaking, our patients save an average of 50% on their prescription drugs. In many cases, customers save an astounding 90% compared to what they'd pay at their local pharmacy. (Note that most CIPA-certified sites, like NorthWestPharmacy.com, source medications from locations other than Canada too.)

Furthermore, at NorthWestPharmacy.com, we have a Lowest Price Guarantee — we will not be undersold! If you find your medication at a lower price from a competitor (another qualified online or international pharmacy), we'll beat it. We want our customers to be completely satisfied with both the price, and our customer service.

What Kinds of Prescription Medications Do You Carry?

We have a very large variety of medications available through our online pharmacy. We carry medications that treat:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Asthma (including inhaled corticosteroids)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Fertility
  • HIV
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Smoking Cessation
  • And many, many more

We also carry non-prescription medications (full list here) and pet medication (full list here). For a full list of medications (sorted by the disease they treat) click here. Or just use the search field on our site.

It's important to note that we do not sell controlled substances or narcotics. There are multiple reasons behind this decision (in part, the crossing of international borders), but these drugs are very closely regulated for the purpose of trying to closely monitor the people being prescribed these medications because they're highly addictive.

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty with prescription drug abuse or addiction, please speak to a mental health professional who can help counsel you through the recovery process. You can find more information about treatment for addiction here.

Man with a watch using a laptop

How Do I Pay for My Online Order?

You can pay for your prescription in multiple ways:

  • Personal check (which is processed electronically so there is no delay when you order)
  • International money order
  • Cashier's check

We do not accept credit cards due to the misguided policies implemented by Visa and Mastercard. We believe that Visa and Mastercard should apologize to consumers for any inconvenience that they continue to cause consumers who are trying to purchase safe and affordable prescription drugs from reputable online pharmacies like NorthWestPharmacy.com.

How Do I Know I'll Get My Exact Medication as Prescribed?

We are very meticulous about our prescription fulfillment process. We follow the exact same procedures as the mail order pharmacies you may have used in the past. When you provide your valid prescription from a licensed physician, we will verify its authenticity and put in the order as written.

Your prescription will come in the mail, at which point you should always verify that you've received the correct medication and the correct amount. There will be a packing list inside the box confirming your order.

If you receive your medication and believe there has been an error, contact us right away. We'll verify the order with you and, if in the very unlikely event there was indeed an error, we'll fix it immediately.

Do You Send Generic Medications in Place of Brand Name?

We understand it&'s common practice in the United States for pharmacies to fill brand name prescriptions with generics whenever possible, but as a policy, we do not participate in this practice. We recognize that people react differently to medications and that generics do not always work for people the way they expect.

If you purchase a brand name medication, that's what you'll get in the mail. If you purchase a generic medication, that's what you'll get in the mail.

Do You Sell Only Canadian Medication?

Many people are confused by international online pharmacies because they oftentimes ship medication that is not from the country they expected. For example, you may receive German medication from a website that you believe is a Canadian online pharmacy only. But the term generally refers to one of the dispensing pharmacies that fulfills orders for the website being a Canadian pharmacy, however, the website may have other fulfillment partners outside of Canada. In that case, the website should inform customers that the order may not be filled from Canada.

We do ship Canadian medication, but we also ship medication sourced from the UK, Germany, Turkey, and India, as well as other countries. We provide disclosure of this in our check out process, order emails and our FAQs.

Rest assured that we will ship the exact medication you ordered, but that medications are sometimes known by different trade names in different countries. For example, Advair is called Seretide in some parts of the world, and the packaging is often a different color than the American Advair label. If you look at the ingredients, you'll see they're all the same. It's the exact same medication in that respect — it just has a different labeling.

How Do I Get My Valid Prescription to the Canadian Online Pharmacy?

There are three different ways you can send your valid prescription to NorthWestPharmacy.com:

  1. You (or your doctor) can fax it to us at 1-866-539-5331.
  2. You can scan the printed prescription and email it to us at CustomerService@NorthWestPharmacy.com. (If you don't have a scanner, you can download a variety of apps that can do this for you, such as GeniusScan, Evernote Scannable (iPhone only), or Adobe Scan (also iPhone only).
  3. Or you can send it through the mail to:
    NorthWestPharmacy.com Call Center
    Langley Mall (Canada Post)
    PO Box 56056
    Langley, BC, Canada
    V3A 5N8
Fern with healthcare letter tiles

Can I Use My Private American Insurance to Pay?

We cannot accept private American insurance directly. Any international or Canadian online pharmacy will be out-of-network for your insurance plan — US insurance plans are generally only going to cover mail order or brick-and-mortar pharmacies with an address within the United States for direct billing. Some US insurance companies will provide reimbursement of your purchase through us but you should check with your provider to be sure before ordering.

If your insurance company will not cover purchases through us, we understand that this may be frustrating news, but rest assured that in many cases, the prices you'll pay at NorthWestPharmacy.com are still less expensive that what you'd pay through your insurance plan in the U.S. — particularly for brand name drugs. This is especially true for people on high deductible health plans, who are expected to pay the full price of their medication until they reach their deductible, which is often astronomically high.

Can I Transfer My Prescription from an American Pharmacy?

Unfortunately, we cannot transfer any existing prescription from a pharmacy in the United States. However, you can ask your doctor to fax us a new prescription directly. If you'd rather send it yourself, you can ask your doctor to give you a paper copy of the prescription and you can send it to us.

Is it Legal for an American to Buy Prescription Medication from Canada?

Only a licensed attorney can counsel you on the intricacies of the American legal system and any website that purports to offer legal advice that is not itself a law firm's website should be viewed skeptically. We run a safe, CIPA-approved online pharmacy that helps deliver life-saving medication worldwide. But we can tell you that this is a very common question we get from American customers.

We have helped hundreds of thousands of American patients. We're fortunate to have many American patients willing to go on the record and give testimonials about their positive experiences with us.

In their stories, you will see that they span all ages and come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the common thread among all of them is the exorbitant cost of their medication. They've chosen to order their prescriptions through NorthWestPharmacy.com because it's so much less expensive than it is when they purchase it in the U.S.

You'll find plenty of dubious websites online saying that ordering medications from outside the USA is "unsafe" — and that may be true in some cases. However, CIPA-approved online pharmacies are perfectly safe. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we take patient safety very seriously. We meticulously check orders and dosage to ensure our patients are getting what they've appropriately ordered. As a result, we have a 100% perfect safety record with the millions of prescriptions we've filled over the course of our brand's history.

Placing Your Order Through an Online Canadian Pharmacy

We try to make our ordering process as painless as possible for our customers. You can even leave your payment information on file if you choose so we can do a direct debit charge from your bank account for all your orders.

If at any time, you are confused, have questions, or need guidance, our representatives are happy to work things out with you. You can call us toll-free at 1-866-539-5330 seven days a week. Monday through Friday, our hours are 8:00am to 11:00pm EST. Saturday and Sunday, our hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm EST. Alternatively, you can email us at any time at CustomerService@NorthWestPharmacy.com.

For additional FAQs, please check out our full list here, which gets into greater detail about the ordering process. We want to help you get the medication you need at a price you can afford.

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