Sunday, June 25, 2006

Save Money Using Canadian Internet Pharmacies

Several of my patients have asked about the option of using Canadian Internet pharmacies for the purpose of reducing the cost of their medications. According to a recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine, patients who used these pharmacies saved about 25% on the cost of their medications. This study compared the costs of 44 brand name medications purchased at 12 Canadian Internet Pharmacies to those purchased online at large US retail pharmacies such as Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS. Generic medications were not evaluated.

This post is not meant to endorse sending our patients to Canada for purchase of medications. It is an objective response to a question that I have been asked. This study does not address the the probability of errors which may occur with ordering prescriptions online nor the concern regarding the authenticity of the medications obtained over the internet.

Personally, I regret that the small, local pharmacies which offer a more personalized approach are in danger of extinction. Although I have no studies to prove it, my bias is that the chance of error would be less in this type of a setting.


Reference: Quon BS, Firszt R, Eisenberg MJ. A Comparison of Brand-Name Drug Prices between Canadian-Based Internet Pharmacies and Major U.S. Drug Chain Pharmacies. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(6):397-403.

15 comments:

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Notta Wallflower said...

I wonder if/how the results of this study might change with the new Medicare prescription plan in place. My grandmother used to get her meds from Canada - it was the only way she could afford them. Something wrong with our system when stuff like that happens. :-/

I agree with you - I like supporting the small local businesses.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Canada and I live in the USA. If you can save money ordering from Canada, then do it. When it comes to ordering drugs, think of Canada as another State, not another country. The Canadian and American drug policies are similar, more than most want to admit.

MissM said...

My local pharmacist is absolutely the BEST! She keeps me updated on when my meds and the customer service is the absolute BEST! Unfortunately, I have new health insurance and they only reimburse 42% of the cost at retail pharmacies, but the mail order reimbursement seems to be 80-90%. Its a shame when local businesses are driven out of business, to save costs, supposedly, but I can't control what's refilled at the mail order house. How does that save money??? (Sigh)
Excellent advice, and thank you!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot!
» »

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Anonymous said...

Or even cheaper: Don't use medicine you REALLY don't need!

PHORA-HR / SF-HR

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