The use of online pharmacies for the purchase of medications is a widely accepted practice used by consumers looking to find inexpensive and embarrassment free ways to purchase needed medications in a discreet manner. If you are considering purchasing medication from outside the U.S., be aware that, in most circumstances, it is technically not legal for individuals to import prescription drugs; however, U.S. government officials have stated that individuals who order non-controlled prescription drugs from Canada or other foreign sources (up to a three-month supply) for their own use are not being pursued or prosecuted.
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In Canada, the licensing of pharmacies—whether they have a traditional brick and mortar” storefront only or a storefront with an online business—is primarily the jurisdiction of NAPRA's members, the provincial and territorial pharmacy regulatory authorities.
As Johnson, notes, "Consumers are more likely to know the name of their hairdresser than their pharmacist." When Johnson (2005) rated the various professions within the health care system, he found that pharmacists had the lowest interaction with their patients than did any other group.
Based on various state regulations within the U.S. — although U.S. pharmacies are permitted to transfer prescriptions, including refills, for non-controlled drugs under certain circumstances—transferring prescriptions to foreign pharmacies may not be permitted.
Of course, the counterfeit drug boogeyman is often sent out by interested American parties, making it sound like Canadian drugs are made by a couple of toque wearing, beer swilling, Bob and Doug Mackenzie types, but for the vast majority of cases, this just isnít true.
In the many years that our retirees have been flocking across the border to get their prescription drugs, there has never been a case in Canada or the United States of an American being hurt or dying from sub standard medication distributed from a Canadian pharmacy.
Of the more than 8,300 online pharmacies reviewed in July 2011 by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), which accredits online drugstores in addition to representing state pharmacy boards across the U.S., just over 3 percent appear to be sound.