Can you freely afford all the prescription medicines needed? Probably, no, unless you are a happy owner of a premium insurance plan. Otherwise, there is a high chance that you are highly interested in how to cut drug expenses.
It is a well-known fact that drug prices in the USA are unreasonably and unbearably high, so it is not surprising that 25% (or more) of Americans cannot afford to buy all the medicines prescribed to them by doctors. And in many cases that means that they cannot purchase medications that are intended to significantly improve the quality of their lives or even save them.
Top 3 Reasons Why Drug Prices in the USA Are Dramatically Higher than in Other Countries
- There is no governmental regulation of drug prices. In this country, the local government does not impose any limitations on drug prices. Hence, most pharma companies rise prices as high as patients can bear, in their opinion. More to the point, prices at local pharmacies are usually several times higher than those in other countries, where drug prices are legally regulated.
- Medicines are actively advertised. No doubt, advertising boosts demand and sales. Even when a patient can hardly afford a medicine promoted, there is a good chance that he will go to his doctor and ask to prescribe it. Advertisements can be truly convincing. Due to aggressive advertising, demand for medicines is constantly high in the USA, which provokes price rises. In addition, under such circumstances, a risk of excessive or off label use of medicines dramatically increases, which can result in adverse health consequences.
- Americans are usually among the first to get access to the most innovative medical products. It is well understood that, to introduce new products, pharma companies have to invest millions of dollars in researching and testing. Naturally, they need to return money spent in some way. In most developed countries, governments regulate drug prices and prevent producers from raising them too high. Consequently, there is no opportunity for companies to get extra profits. So, they use the US market to receive those lost profits, since there are no price limits. Sure, that provides certain advantages to US customers ― they are offered new products earlier, sometimes, several years earlier. Many experts claim that higher prices are a reasonable price for such an opportunity. Since millions of people get a chance to solve serious health problems or at least to get rid of certain unpleasant symptoms without a delay.
Opinions on this situation vary. Some patients and medical experts claim that the government should take decisive steps in order to equalize prices at local drugstores with those in other countries, others are afraid that such lowering will deprive them of access to innovative medicines. But one can say for sure that, as of today, a significant part of patients from the USA prefer to do healthcare shopping abroad, where prices are much lower.
Are Medicines in Canada as Quality as in the USA?
Many customers from the USA keep on turning to local pharmacies and overpaying for medications, since they believe that purchasing drugs from abroad will put their health at risk. But that’s just a myth. Speaking about medications that are sold at Canadian pharmacies, they meet the highest quality standards. This is a well-developed country with a proper level of medicine, so there is nothing to worry about.
Medicines in Canada can be up to several times cheaper than identical products in the USA, but that is not connected with quality issues in any way. The key reason for that price difference is governmental regulation. Local authorities will not approve introduction of a drug to the market, if a price proposed by a producer is higher than in other countries. There is a special board that is responsible for approving drug prices in Canada. They compare prices offered by manufacturers with those of identical remedies in other countries with similar economic conditions. That secures patients from overpayments.
Besides, one should note that, in Canada, it is forbidden to promote medications directly to a customer. That prevents excessive use of such products and, naturally, constrains growth of demand, which also helps to keep drug prices reasonable.
Are Generic Medications Purchased from Canada Safe to Use?
According to experts, in Canada, generic versions of popular medicines appear around 5 years earlier than in the USA, and that allows Canadians to significantly reduce their drug expenses.
In short, generics are copies of brand-name medications that are produced by other companies after patents on original products expire. Generics and brand products are interchangeable and substitutable. One can freely and safely switch from a brand-name medicine to a generic at any moment without any health consequences. Such copies include identical active substances and provide identical health effects. There is no difference in indications, contraindications or drug interactions. Certainly, there is no difference in quality as well. Similar to brand-name medications, generics are scrupulously controlled by authorities. In order to get an opportunity to sell a generic, a pharma company is required to prove that it is equivalent to an original product and meets current quality standards.
One should acknowledge that generics are frequently produced in developing countries, since that allows to cut production costs and to set cheaper final prices. Still, that reduction is associated with a lower level of salaries mainly and does not make any impact on quality of drugs. Naturally, Canadian pharmacies can also include generics from abroad, including those produced in developing countries, in their catalogs, since, as a rule, such products are offered at very attractive prices. But there is no need to refrain from purchasing such remedies. Drugstores value their reputation and trust of their clients, so they collaborate with reliable manufacturers only. You can be sure that a pharmacy does research on the reputation of each and every producer. The main point is to find a drugstore you can safely entrust your health to.
Is It Safe to Order Medicines via the Internet?
Americans have been turning to Canadian pharmacies for decades. Millions of patients are ready to make long trips to the neighboring country in order to get an opportunity to buy medicines needed at reasonable prices. For many of them that is the only way to get access to life-saving drugs, like insulin, that are sold at sky-rocketing prices in the USA.
But, today, there is no need to waste time, effort and money on those trips. Due to the rapid development of ecommerce, there are hundreds of online pharmacies in Canada. No doubt, purchasing medicines online is as safe as using services of traditional local drugstores. Special technologies are implemented in order to secure customers’ money and vulnerable information. Sure, before placing the first order on such a website, it is advisable to do some research on its reliability.
How to Check Whether a Canadian drugstore Is Worth Trusting?
- Find out when it was opened. If it has been working for only a couple of months so far, it will be almost impossible to check its reputation. Give preference to companies with a long history.
- Look through customers’ feedback. To get a true-to-life picture of the quality of medicines and services offered, find reviews left by other customers on external sources. Keep in mind that a company can moderate reviews left on a website belonging to it. It is highly common practice. If you see that all the comments published are absolutely positive, they are definitely corrected by a webmaster.
- Compare prices offered with those on other platforms. If they are suspiciously low, there is a high risk that a company distributes low-quality or counterfeit products. Do not get tempted by too generous discounts.
- See whether there is any contact information. You need to have an opportunity to quickly get in touch with a pharmacy in case of any questions or problems.
To sum up, purchasing medications from an online Canadian pharmacy is a good variant for those who want to reduce drug expenses and avoid inconveniences associated with offline healthcare shopping. This solution provides a range of significant benefits without exposing a patient to any safety risks, the main point is to thoroughly check reliability of a drugstore.