Online Canadian Pharmacies: The Scary Truths

The rising cost of pharmaceuticals in the United States has driven more and more people toward less expensive alternatives. Since Canadian medicine generally is much cheaper than its American versions, many people have considered ordering their regular prescriptions from online Canadian pharmacies to save money. Importing medicine from Canada might be great for the pocketbook, but it involves dangers that could be worse than going into debt.


Importing Pharmaceuticals Is Illegal


First and foremost, having medicine shipped to you from a foreign country is illegal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be somewhat lax in its enforcement, but there is always a chance you could get caught purchasing illegal contraband through the mail. The punishment for importing pharmaceuticals from Canada ranges from a steep fine to possible jail time, depending on the kind of medicine you order.


No Safety Standards on Imported Medication


One of the scariest dangers of ordering medicine from Canada is that Canadian pharmacies are not required to comply with American quality standards. There is no regulating body that checks to make sure the medicine you ordered is what it says it is. You really can’t be sure the pills you receive from a Canadian pharmacy are the real thing. It is possible the pills will contain little to no medicine whatsoever. In the worst case scenario, the pills will contain elements that are actually harmful rather than helpful. The bottom line is that you won’t know if the imported medicine is dangerous until you take it and suffer ill effects.


Verified and Fraudulent Pharmacy Lists


If the dangers of ordering Canadian medication haven’t changed your mind, you owe it to yourself to at least track down pharmacies with a better chance of being legitimate. Two websites can help you separate the verified pharmacies from the fraudulent ones. is a site founded by a Canadian doctor and lists online pharmacies that have been verified as legitimate and those proven to be fraudulent. The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) also has a website that lists Canadian pharmacies certified by CIPA and fraudulent pharmacies without certification. These resources can help you narrow down the better health risks regarding foreign medicine, but the illegality of the practice remains an issue.


Inexpensive American Online Pharmacies


The safest way to buy pharmaceuticals is from an American pharmacy that is required to meet proper FDA standards. You can save money by purchasing medicine online from an American company. Online pharmaceuticals tend to be quite a bit cheaper than those sold at a brick and mortar location. You have to be diligent to get the best prices though. Online pharmaceutical prices change often, so you’ll need to compare prices every time you order new medication to get the best price. Ordering online also means placing your order early enough for your medicine to arrive before you run out of your current supply.



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