Q. I've begun to take a prescribed drug that is very expensive and not covered by my insurance. I see that it is available at much lower cost from Canada via the Internet.

Are there any safety concerns in buying from Canada? Are the drugs the same as those sold in the US? Thanks for your assistance.

A. If you were traveling to Canada and buying your medicines in person, you would not need to worry about the quality of the medications. Canadian pharmacies are carefully regulated.

On the Internet, however, pharmacies can easily pose as Canadian even if they are not. One reader sent this report:

“I bought $300 of pills from an online pharmacy. I thought it was in Canada but I received an unlabelled plastic bag with the pills this Saturday. The delivery paperwork listed the originating office as Dandong, China–not Canada!

“Worse yet, I tried one of the pills and it had no effect. I suspect they are bogus imitation pills with no active medicine whatsoever. I know this because I have experience buying this prescription in the US and the pills work every time. Please pass the word about this fraud.”

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  1. SP

    I have ordered maintenance medicines from CanTrust for about 8 years and have been very satisified, as I have saved a lot of money and the pills are the same as I was getting from United States. I had to have a form filled out by my doctor and a telephone consultation with a pharmcist in the beginning.

  2. vg

    I have ordered from CANPHARM in Canada for 10yrs. Outstanding service… both generics and others, pharmacy counselling and low prices. I have never had a problem and have saved a lot over the years.
    Valerie G

  3. jd

    I have ordered several drugs from Jan Drugs.com in Canada, and they have called me and asked if I had any questions, etc. Everything worked, and they even have a generic Nexium that works for me. I have no complaints as yet.

  4. ECH

    I have used a Canadian Pharmacy for 4 years and have found them to be efficient and careful with my prescriptions. I have had no problems with them. One drug was not available from Canada and they let me know and it arrived shortly from Australia.

  5. wrs

    Is there a list on some website of legitimate online pharmacies? I was prescribed Xenocal and my insurance will not cover the drug. You would think that by now there would be a website that you enter in your drug and it would search and give you a list of pharmacies and their cost for the drug…. much like a product search.

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