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Has anyone ever purchased prescriptions drugs from Canada via the Internet? The US price per pill is a little over $11.00! A generic version not available in the US is available in Canada for $4.99 per pill. How does one ensure that the Canadian generic pill is the same medication that I would receive at a US pharmacy? The monthly US cost would be $330 vs $150 if ordered from a canadian pharmacy. Your thoughts please.
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Do you trust the supplier?

If you are going to Canada and buying the prescription from a drug store in Canada, yes. If you are ordering over the internet from a supplier who says they got it from a drug store (or drug wholesaler) in Canada, do you trust them?
There have been instances where the product provided at the lower price was NOT as advertised--something made in China with quite different characteristics. At $11.00 a pill this is likely an important medication you don't want to be messing around with.
Many US pharmaceutical companies have a program to provide assistance to low income folks who need their drug, and may supply it at reduced cost or no cost. Explore the internet, particularly the website of the US manufacturer who makes the brand-name drug.

Best wishes, Chris
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If you are going to Canada and buying the prescription from a drug store in Canada, yes. If you are ordering over the internet from a supplier who says they got it from a drug store (or drug wholesaler) in Canada, do you trust them?

There have been instances where the product provided at the lower price was NOT as advertised--something made in China with quite different characteristics. At $11.00 a pill this is likely an important medication you don't want to be messing around with.

Many US pharmaceutical companies have a program to provide assistance to low income folks who need their drug, and may supply it at reduced cost or no cost. Explore the internet, particularly the website of the US manufacturer who makes the brand-name drug.

Best wishes, Chris



sounds right.

hadn't heard about 'drugs from China' ... but that would make me nervous

FWIW . when i looked into Canadian-Rx, looked at a couple online pharmacies and the prices just weren't that much better (partly due to shipping, maybe partly due to Ins.)


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I've bought a few medications from a Canadian mail order pharmacy when the full cost in Canada was less than the co-pay in my health plan. Haven't had any problems.

Several states have pre-screened some Canadian Pharmacies that they recommend to their residents who are being shafted by US drug pricing. Here's the one for the State of Minnesota:

http://www.state.mn.us/portal/mn/jsp/content.do?id=-53688539...

CanadaDrugs.com is the one I've used.

intercst
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If it comes from a licensed Canadian pharmacy, fine.

If you got the supplier from somebody who spammed your e-mail offering fantastic value--"Viagra for just $1 a pill!" that is extremely suspect. The "generic" may contain less drug, no drug, or it may be in a form that is not bio-available.

It is correct that there are generics available in Canada that have not been approved in the US. OP did not tell us what drug was involved, but implied it is something to be taken on a long-term basis. Zyprexa comes to mind, and it's manufacturer, Lilly, has an excellent program for supply to people who need it and can't afford it. The chemotherapy drugs can be a lot more expensive than that, but commonly aren't used for long periods. The US FDA is very picky about what generic gets approved. When a drug first goes off patent, for the first six months only one company can market a generic. After that it is pretty much free-for-all, but the manufacturer still must show that both the content and the bioavailability are equivalent to the original brand-name drug. If the reason the Canadian drug is cheaper is that this manufacturer hasn't jumped through the hoops necessary to sell the drug in the US, are you sure you want to be taking it?

Also, if the brand-name drug is not yet off patent in the US, the Canadian patent may or may not be valid. You might start with a Canadian supplier who gets put out of business by a lawsuit from the holder of the patent.

Yes, there is a whopping markup on drugs in the US. When it costs hundreds of millions of $ to bring a new drug to market, the manufacturer must recoup all the research and clinical trial costs in the course of just a few years. For a truly blockbuster drug, this is done and with lots to spare--but that has to help pay for others that didn't make it out of clinical trials for one reason or another. If the US company can't recoup costs, there is no incentive to do the research, and the pipeline would dry up pretty fast.

Best wishes, Chris
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Crosenfield asks,

If the reason the Canadian drug is cheaper is that this manufacturer hasn't jumped through the hoops necessary to sell the drug in the US, are you sure you want to be taking it?


After seven years of Bush Administration mismanagement, I think I'd have more confidence in Canadian or British regulators than our own FDA. You may be familiar with the many deaths of patients taking an FDA-approved heparin drug.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5441082&page=1

The blood thinner heparin is one of the most used drugs in America, employed daily in hospital surgeries and for kidney dialysis patients.

But a safe supply of this critical drug fell into jeopardy last winter in a catastrophe that illuminated severe problems caused by the fact that most ingredients for American drugs now come from foreign sources. These sources are not being adequately monitored by either the pharmaceutical industry or the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA told "Nightline" that as many as 55, or perhaps considerably more, people may have died from the contaminated heparin.
So far it's only been able to definitively link three deaths to specific lots of the tainted drug.

</snip>


Meanwhile, I'm not aware of any reports of an American who was harmed by a medication purchased from a mail-order Canadian pharmacy.

intercst
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The reason most drugs are cheaper in Canada is Canadian price controls. Meanwhile the drug lobby in the US 'buys' a Medicare drug program that forbids price negotiation. Medicare pays up to twice as much as the VA, which can negotiate, pays for the same drug.

A European drug company CEO stated recently that his company was anxious to get a new drug approved for use in the US. "We can charge higher prices in the US than anywhere else," he told a European business news reporter.

Free enterprise is great. Free enterprise mixed with politics sucks.
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<<A European drug company CEO stated recently that his company was anxious to get a new drug approved for use in the US. "We can charge higher prices in the US than anywhere else," he told a European business news reporter.

Free enterprise is great. Free enterprise mixed with politics sucks.
>>



Both Europe, Canada and the United States are obviously saturated with politics on such issues.



Seattle Pioneer
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Thanks for everyone's input. The drug I will be taking for up to 5 years, Arimidex, is too vital to my well-being that I've decided to purchase it from a US pharmacy. Hopefully, it won't be too long before a generic version is available.
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Arimedex is made by Astra-Zeneca, basically a Swedish company although they are international. It is a very conscientious company and if the cost of the drug is creating a real hardship for you, you may well qualify to get the drug either at much reduced cost or perhaps free. Talk to your doctor. I am sure an Astra-Zeneca representative calls on your doctor at regular intervals and can provide your doctor with paperwork to get you on their list.

In that case you would receive your medication by mail directly from the manufacturer.

Best wishes, and may the medication do everything it is supposed to do!

Chris
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