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Where and how to purchase medications online and what to beware of

The health care system in Canada is publicly funded and represents a unified system of insurance and medical plans called Medicare. Unlike the United States, where almost every third person in the country does not have health insurance, all Canadians can count on free medical care. In addition to the nationwide health insurance system, the provinces and territories of the country additionally provide free medical services to the least protected part of the population – children, elderly and unemployed, and this package of additional services often includes free medicines. Additional medical insurances that cover a significant part of the cost of medicines are also included in the compensation package in addition to the salary that is applicable to online Canadian pharmacies as well.

In general, approximately 89% of the population have one or another insurance coverage for standard drug costs, and only 11% of residents do not include health insurance coverage for these expenses. Among the population having insurance for payment of drugs 13% receive full reimbursement for medicines, 67% receive medicines almost free of charge (paying only a little out of pocket for them), and only 10% have medical insurance to cover only some of the expenses for medicines – this category of the population has to pay 35 per cent of their value and more. But there is a difference in purchasing OTC drugs and RX ones. Is it possible to order prescription medicines online in Canada? Is it safe?

In fact, Rx drug is prescribed by a family doctor or another physician. At the same time, he or she prints it out. In total, the prescription contains the name of the medicine, daily dose, total dose, and patient’s data: name, address, telephone number, etc. This document should be scanned before making an order of the prescription medication at online pharmacy. You need to send a scanned copy of it and make a purchase as per indicated on the doctor’s prescription.

Unlike the treatment itself, which in Canada is free, a patient needs to pay for drugs. But if you have insurance (like the majority of the working population), the drugs will be free or almost free of charge (there are different insurance conditions). But even if you have to pay for the drugs out of pocket, in Canadian pharmacy online the prices are fixedly low as can be seen at their price list. Specialist from online drugstores will enter your data into computer and will tell you the delivery time, give necessary consultation, pick up those vials with pills and inform you exactly how to take them. Time of order processing may be different. From 10 minutes to an hour.

Why do online specialists need time? Since some drugs are prepared by pharmacists themselves on the spot. For example, delicious syrups with medicine for children. For the pills, you can choose the desired amount. For example, buy only 5 tablets and purchase the additional amount next time to make in total the amount in prescription. Or, if it is a syrup to a child, based on the mass of the child and the duration of treatment, the total volume is calculated and poured just as much as needed. In addition, specialists prepare individual packaging. They take a vial with a lid protecting from opening by children, stick printed data on the medicine on this vial. Usually it looks as follows:

  • The address of the pharmacy and telephone;
  • Vial number;
  • The name of the doctor who gave a prescription;
  • Patient’s name;
  • Cost;
  • Drug name;
  • The number of tablets and the mass of each;
  • Posology and administration summary;
  • Drug Identification Number (DIN);
  • Frequency of administration;
  • A few stickers with additional information. For example: take with meals, drink plenty of water, do not go to bed 10 minutes after ingestion, do not drink alcohol, etc.

Interestingly, there is a term used by pharmacists to denote the partial purchase of prescribed drugs known as refills (how much is left to take). For example, the doctor prescribed taking medicine for 3 months, 30 tablets per month. You can immediately buy 90 tablets, and you can buy, for example, only 15, and buy the rest later. All this data is in the database at the pharmacy and next time you can bring nothing at all, but just say your name and you will again be prepared with the required number of tablets.

What is even more interesting is that pharmacies are different and with different brands and names, but you can also buy tablets in a completely different pharmacy. You only need to tell to pharmacy specialists where you have bought before or to bring a vial. They will immediately find out all the necessary information on your prescription from the previous pharmacy. Since all the information is in the database, the prescription is immediately taken away and retained. You can, of course, ask to print a copy, but usually it is not necessary.

What Dangers of Online Pharmacies Are Lurking in Wait?

Online pharmacies may look attractive offering low prices and home delivery, but do not forget about the significant risks. There are plenty of minuses in the online drug trade, the main one of which was recently announced by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, in more than 50 percent of cases, drugs bought on the Internet at illegal websites that hide their physical address are counterfeit. Counterfeit medicines can be a randomly made mixture of harmful toxic substances or an inactive, ineffective drug. At best, the use of counterfeit medicines will make the treatment unsuccessful, at worst, it will seriously affect health.

The same applies to the drugs the storage conditions of which are not respected. Very often Internet pharmacies do not have a license, which means that storage conditions are not controlled by anyone. In this respect, we advise you to inquire the license at the online pharmacy before making a purchase.

In addition, employees of illegal pharmacies usually do not have a special education and will not be able to warn about possible risks of interactions of purchased drugs. How to simplify the purchase of drugs and make the overall procedure safe?

Be Careful While Choosing an Online Pharmacy

Despite all the advantages of online pharmacies, the disadvantage is lies in the fact there is a huge opportunity to run into fraudsters. To avoid counterfeits and loss of money, you need to know some rules for choosing a website. Pharmacies should be avoided if they have:

  • too low prices;
  • no contact information;
  • no feedback;
  • questionable drugs that promise miraculous healing from all diseases;
  • no history or description of pharmacy activities.

Thus, online pharmacies are a very useful resource, saving time, money and nerves. You should beware of doubtful websites and make a choice in favor of trusted sources.