Above is a photograph by Eric Seals of the Detroit Free Press. It depicts James and Geraldine Keon, who for the past three years have regularly purchased their prescription drugs from Canada.
The Free Press profiles the Keons and other Americans who use Canadian pharmacies as part of a story on drug reimportation published over the weekend.
The piece is a bit too heavily influenced by Big Pharma lobbyists and their government cronies, who raise the usual bogeyman arguments about Canadian drugs. But a few important points shine through —
- One congressional estimate says Americans could save $50 billion over 10 years if the nation permitted U.S.-manufactured drugs to be reimported from Canada and other nations where price controls on pharmaceuticals hold down costs.
- Even PhRMA and the FDA acknowledge there haven’t been widespread incidences of people falling ill or dying from adulterated, counterfeit or mislabeled drugs purchased via Internet pharmacies.
- “Some industry groups out there have clearly been active in a public relations campaign to make it seem like buying drugs from Canada is not safe,” said Gabriel Levitt, PharmacyChecker’s vice president. “To scare Americans who are getting their prescriptions safely is borderline unethical.”
The article also offers these four tips for buying from licensed online pharmacies:
- Have the name of the pharmacy and its address, phone, license number and province. The information should be clearly identified on the company’s Web page.
- Buy drugs only through pharmacies affiliated with the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, a trade group.
- Buy only from pharmacies that require a prescription from the patient’s U.S. physician.
- The pharmacy must have a Canadian physician who reviews the prescription, as well as pharmacists available for consultation.
All Canadian pharmacies in the eDrugSearch.com network meet these criteria.