Buying Prescription Drugs Online – From Canada Pharmacy and Beyond

Mar 6 08:31 2013 Arslan Jahanzaib Print This Article

For years now, US citizens have been buying their prescription drugs online.  An early adopter of the world wide web, and with some of the highest levels of uptake across all demographic groups, it is no wonder that older segments...

or years now,Guest Posting US citizens have been buying their prescription drugs online. An early adopter of the world wide web, and with some of the highest levels of uptake across all demographic groups, it is no wonder that older segments of US society buy prescription drugs online. Throughout the 1980s, 90’s and 00’s, prescription drug consumers increasingly realized the cost savings to be enjoyed from sourcing prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies, and as the Internet picked up pace, so too did the choice of on line pharmacy organisations. Giants such as Canada Pharmacy emerged, a company that developed a vast number of websites, all aimed at US citizens sourcing cheaper branded and generic prescription drugs online. In the USA, pharmaceutical imports have more than doubled in the past decade alone, according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, and it estimates that 80 percent of ingredients in U.S-made drugs and 40 percent of finished medications Americans take come from abroad. But in recent months, the FDA has concentrated efforts on cracking down on online pharmacies selling prescription drugs, in particular Canadian pharmacies, the traditional lower-priced option for US consumers. Late last year, the US Senate defeated an amendment that would have made it easier for Americans to buy prescription online from Canada for personal use. So, the FDA can continue to block such imports and there may well be a trend that sees the closure of more and more Canadian online pharmacies. Having been recently found to be supplying counterfeit Avastin, Canada Drug seems to be being used as an example of things to come as US officials ordered the company to stop marketing prescription drugs to American consumers through its 3,700 websites registered in a number of different countries. The decade-old Canada Drugs has prospered by filling millions of prescriptions for American customers with cheaper, price-controlled drugs from Canada and around the world. But the case of the fake Avastin has increased pressure to rein in and control cross-border pharmaceutical sales.

So as the USA continues to warn its public of the potential risks of buying prescription drugs online, the US recently launched “BESafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy” campaign; a national campaign to raise awareness about fake online pharmacies and the potential risk to consumer health. The FDA’s BeSafeRx follows research that identified that 1 in 4 consumers bought prescription drugs online. Of these, 30% said they were not confident about buying prescription drugs safely on the Internet. In addition, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy analyzed more than 10,000 websites and found that 97% were not in compliance with U.S pharmacy laws and were actually listed as ‘Not Recommended”.

So how do US consumers source discounted prescription drugs online, but most importantly, safely? There are a few simple checks that consumers can undertake to confirm the legitimacy of an online pharmacy. For instance, if buying prescription drugs from the UK, the legitimacy of UK based online pharmacies can easily be confirmed as to whether or not they are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a government agency and part of the Department of Health, responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work. In addition, reputable pharmacies will be verified and licensed by the General Pharmaceutical Council. The GPhC website ( is searchable, allowing consumers to verify pharmacy validity.

As the US FDA cracks down on online pharmacies, such as Canada Pharmacy, buying prescription drugs online at discounted rates outside of the US is not necessarily coming to a stand still. Instead, consumers sourcing prescription drugs need to adopt a higher level of diligence. They might consider UK based pharmacies and these can certainly be authenticated reliably using the aforementioned websites.

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Arslan Jahanzaib
Arslan Jahanzaib

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