Are Canadian Online Pharmacies Safe?

Many consumers are bypassing the expensive pharmaceutical prices in the U.S. to obtain what they need from suppliers in other countries like Canada. Where there is a need, there will always be a business willing to meet that demand. Given the expense of pharmaceuticals and the many uninsured consumers unable to afford them, it is no surprise that they are turning to online Canadian pharmacies to obtain the drugs they need.

Safety Concerns

When considering online Canadian pharmacies, the question becomes: are Canadian online pharmacies safe? For people considering buying from an online Canadian pharmacy, it is crucial that they do research to determine the legitimacy of the business. There are certain recommended ways to check out the risk before moving forward with a purchase. One guideline to follow is to only consider pharmacies that insist on a prescription.

Another way to test the legitimacy of an online Canadian store is to check with the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA). This organization has a list of reputable pharmacies and disreputable ones to avoid. There is also a seal to look for that verifies credentials. The seal from CIPA certification seal assures you that the pharmacy provider is licensed, reputable and adheres to stringent safety protocols.

Pharmacies that are not trustworthy tend to be somewhat obvious. They typically do not publish a physical address. The World Health Organization reports that more than 50 percent of the illegitimate businesses selling drugs are secretive and do not disclose their location. Certain countries also show a higher rate of counterfeit drugs, while countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Japan are very reliable.

Benefit Versus Risk

As is true with any decision involving health issues, it is critical to evaluate the benefits to be derived and compare them to the risk being taken. The savings on certain drugs have been shown to be as high as 90 percent. Some consumers are unable to purchase the drugs they need without a large games quiz discount. Some of these prescriptions are crucial and can even be life-saving. When you consider the importance of these drugs, it is easy to understand why many are willing to take the risk to go outside of their country to get what they need.

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Given that less than one percent of counterfeit drugs come from industrialized countries like Canada and Japan, then in many cases it makes sense to take a calculated risk to live a higher quality of life. In some cases, getting the medicine needed can even save a life. For consumers covered by insurance where they pay only a small percentage of the prescription price, the risk may not be warranted. Some groups of people on fixed incomes or the uninsured can easily justify going to an online pharmacist in Canada as a way to pay for prescriptions you could not afford otherwise.

Legal Considerations

Other consumers ask themselves: are Canadian online pharmacies safe from a legal standpoint. Most people do not want to break the law and worry about getting into a possible legal hassle. Technically, it is illegal for Americans to buy drugs across the border. When questioned about legal actions taken against individuals that purchased small amounts of unauthorized drugs, the FDA reported that they have not taken any legal action against anyone for this reason.


Taking a calculated risk for the sake of your health is understandable. For people willing to check out online Canadian pharmacies prior to purchasing from them, there is a lot of money that can be saved. Every individual must decide whether the risk of breaking the law or getting counterfeit drugs is worth the price savings for important drugs required for a better quality of life.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

Are Canadian Online Pharmacies Safe?

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