A Pharmacist's Review of Canadian Online Pharmacies

Written by Shivam Patel, PharmD, BSPS, RPh | Posted December 14, 2020 | Updated May 31, 2022

When one thinks of drugs from abroad, Canada is quick to the tongue as a country with affordable drugs and a great healthcare system, which isn’t a coincidence. It's actually very simple: drugs are cheaper in Canada because the government regulates the prices whereas Uncle Sam basically allows a free for all when it comes to drug pricing in the U.S. Now if you're like most of us in the U.S., Canada isn’t really a quick drive for an affordable medication shopping trip, which is why accredited Canadian online pharmacies are an effective tool to help you get the medications you need while saving you a lot of money. Of course, safety is of chief concern when buying mail-order medications online. This is why PharmacyChecker helps you filter and find trusted, legitimate Canadian online pharmacies for free. On top of that, you can even learn more about what we do to routinely audit Canadian online pharmacies here.

Fake Online Pharmacies vs. Real Ones

Fake pharmacy websites don’t have safety standards in place to protect your finances and your health. We’ve highlighted some of the ways you can identify a fake operation vs. a real one.

Fake Canadian Online Pharmacies

Real Canadian Online Pharmacies

Sell medications without a prescription Require a valid prescription for all orders
Market controlled drugs like Xanax to the U.S. Controlled drugs are not permitted to be sold internationally to the U.S.
Do not staff a licensed pharmacist Offer licensed pharmacist consultations
Do not have customer service Provides contact information for customer service
Do not have a policy for your privacy other than to invade it Publishes a privacy policy for all customers to view
Have no limits on how many drugs you may buy Restricts medication orders to a maximum of a 3 month supply
Do not provide accurate drug marketing claims Will check for accuracy of drug marketing claims
Do not tell you where your drugs are actually coming from Disclose the country of the pharmacy dispensing your medication

You have the power to decide where you want to shop.

Remember that the safest online pharmacies in Canada, or even other countries, are pharmacies that are accredited or recognized by online pharmacy verification programs or associations.

Check Out This Free List of PharmacyChecker-Accredited Online Pharmacies

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How legit are these Canadian Online Pharmacies?

With over a decade of pharmacy experience and performing audits, I can confidently say that licensed Canadian pharmacies operate similarly to pharmacies in the U.S. Candian pharmacists are professionals with a strong education-- comparable to that of American pharmacists. For what it's worth, I find them to have even more patience in helping others than some of my peers on this side of the border. It's not just the friendly pharmacists: Canada has strong pharmacy regulations that help consumers like you. All Canadian pharmacies are required to be licensed by their respective provincial authority.

Prescription drug safety goes all the way to the federal level in Canada. Similar to the U.S. FDA, Canada has the Therapeutic Products Directorate. This is a Health Canada agency that regulates drug supply chains to make sure medications are safe for consumers when placed on the market. This means drugs sold in Canada essentially have identical safety and efficacy profiles as their counterparts in the U.S.

If you really want to make sure these Canadian pharmacies are legit beyond accreditation, you can look up the pharmacy or pharmacist licensure status yourself. Here is a list of all the Canadian pharmacy provincial authorities.

We have made your life easier with the PharmacyChecker verification portal. Go to the portal, type in the online pharmacy you want to check for legitimacy, and hit verify.

If you get a green checkmark, you’re in the clear.

However, if you get a red “X”, it’s not a good idea to move forward with a prescription order.

Read more about pharmacy safety here.

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Prescription Cost Savings

My pharmacist oath includes:

“I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.”

I’m driven to help people all over the world afford their medications and ensure they are able to live their healthiest lives possible. Canadian online pharmacies help achieve this goal by saving American consumers money on brand-name medications. Consumers on average save 75% on patented drugs if purchased from Canada.

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Summary of a Pharmacist's Recommendations When Ordering From Canadian Online Pharmacies

  • Stick with real online pharmacies, by making sure you check off all items on the RIGHT side of the chart above and avoid anything on the LEFT side of the chart

  • Use the Verification Portal to identify accredited pharmacies with a green checkmark

  • Prescription drug savings are all about comparing costs, so compare prices internationally and in the U.S. at Pharmacychecker.com

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Compare drug prices among reputable online pharmacies

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