Money Saving Tips: How to Buy Prescription Drugs in Canada Safely

Brand name prescription drugs are known to be a lot cheaper in Canada. Since this country is so close to the United States, most people are tempted to buy their prescription drugs there to save a lot of money.

However, before you consider buying prescription drugs in Canada, there are some things that you should know about . . .

Why Drugs are Cheaper in Canada

Many foreign countries, including Canada, control the pricing of drugs. Due to the fact that they have national and universal healthcare, they are often able to negotiate the prices, keeping them very low compared to the United States. Since the United States doesn’t have any pricing control, the prices will be all over the place.

However, there are a few things that you’re going to want to keep in mind before you start thinking about how to purchase prescription drugs in Canada:

A. Generic Drugs

For starters, generic drugs are often going to be cheaper in the United States when you factor in foreign shipping.

B. Converting

Don’t forget that when you receive a price quote, it’s going to be in Canadian dollars. Depending on the current market, you will want to convert your dollar to see how much it’s going to cost you. Also, if the pharmacy charges shipping, be sure to factor this into your budget.

How to Buy Prescription Drugs in Canada Safely

There are two common ways to purchase your prescription drugs in Canada :

A. Buying in Person

As long as you stick to the FDA’s and U.S. Customs’ parameters, you should be able to buy prescription drugs when you cross the border. When you cross the border, make sure that you bring a few extra prescription copies with you because most pharmacies and the United States border will ask for one.

B. Online

If you’re interested in buying prescription drugs in Canada or any other foreign country, you have to be aware of potential problems, including changing prices, additional fees and shady practices. When buying from any licensed online Canadian pharmacy, you’re going to want to make sure that they meet the following guidelines and are properly verified third-party websites.

Having third-party verifications adds to the legitimacy of online sites, and there are several agencies in the U.S. and Canada that offer seals of approval. These include the Better Business Bureau Online (BBBOnline), the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS), the (NCPA) and the Manitoba International Pharmacists Association (MIPA). Contact information is available on the Pharmacy Licensing page on this site.

Now that you know what to look out for, here’s how to buy prescription drugs in Canada safely . . .

  1. After visiting your primary-care doctor, make sure that you get a valid prescription. Any valid pharmacy online or in person will always ask for a prescription. If they don’t, you may want to second guess your purchase.
  2. If you plan on filling your prescription online, use a valid drug search online to compare and find a reputable pharmacy. For example, eDrugSearch.com allows you to freely search for a drug and easily compare prices from properly licensed Canadian pharmacies.
  3. When you find a pharmacy that meets the criteria mentioned above, you will be able to place your order through the pharmacy. Most of the time, be prepared to scan over your prescription to properly fill it. On top of this, other pharmacies may ask for additional documentation depending on your order size.
  4. If you’re going to place your order in person, be prepared to either pay with Canadian dollars or by credit card. Most credit cards are going to be able to automatically transfer your foreign currency.

If you’re searching for “how to buy prescription drugs in Canada,” then there’s a good chance you’re looking to save money. eDrugSearch.com is a free cost-comparison search engine that helps uninsured and under-insured consumers get safe access to affordable medications. By using their service, you’re going to be able to save a lot of time with research and see up to 80 percent off U.S. retail drug prices.

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About this Angie’s List Expert: Cary Byrd is the president and founder of eDrugSearch.com. Based in San Antonio, eDrugSearch.com is a free cost comparison engine that helps consumers get safe access to affordable medications and advocates licensed online pharmacies as a widely accepted alternative. 

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