Consumer Reports says buying prescription drugs from Canada can be a smart strategy for cost-conscious consumers. Here’s the magazine’s advice:

You can often save 25 percent or more [using mail-order pharmacies]. Buying brand-name medications from Canada can boost your mail-order savings, sometimes up to 50 percent. Generics, however, are cheaper in the U.S. And drugs bought in Canada will not count toward your Medicare Part D deductible.

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While it’s illegal to buy drugs from foreign countries, including Canada, because of safety concerns, the FDA may refrain from taking legal action if you can provide your doctor’s name, address, and phone number, and confirm that the drugs are for personal use.

If you wish to explore this option, look for pharmacies with the Canadian International Pharmacy Association seal. Go to www.eDrugSearch.com, to get safe access to affordable medications from licensed online pharmacies, for the highest-rated sites.

We’d clarify that while some generics are cheaper through U.S. online pharmacies (which is one reason we include U.S. pharmacies in the eDrugSearch.com system), others are not.

As eDrugSearch.com members know, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and PharmacyChecker.com are both friends of eDrugSearch.com. All eDrugSearch.com member pharmacies are required to have PharmacyChecker.com approval, and most also have the CIPA seal. You can learn more about our pharmacy approval process here.

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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.