Pros and Cons of Purchasing Drugs From Canada

by Jane Meggitt ; Updated July 27, 2017
A smiling pharmacist is at work.

Because many prescription drugs are expensive, you might have thought about turning to online Canadian pharmacies to obtain your medications. The upside is, you might save money. The downside: You're probably breaking the law. If you decide to go ahead with your order, ensure you're buying from a legitimate pharmacy by checking for "Canadian International Pharmacy Association" certification before purchasing.

Canadian Drug Purchase Pros

You might save money purchasing drugs from a Canadian pharmacy -- possibly a significant amount. Depending on the drug, it might retail for half the price it sells for in the United States. The New York Times reports that medications from CIPA-approved pharmacies are typically high quality, whether brand name or generic.

Canadian Drug Purchase Cons

Technically, it's not legal to order drugs from Canada unless you live in Maine. In 2013 that state passed a law permitting mail order pharmaceuticals from certain other countries, including Canada. While the law against ordering medications from Canada is widely flouted, you're still doing so at your own risk. It's also possible that the "Canadian" pharmacy, which you consider relatively safe, is actually located in another country and the drugs you receive are fake.

About the Author

A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt's work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Sapling, Zack's, Financial Advisor, nj.com, LegalZoom and The Nest.

Photo Credits

  • XiXinXing/XiXinXing/Getty Images
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