My Canadian Pharmacy Answers Questions About It’s Status

As experts in the pharmaceutical market, we receive a lot of questions about the safety of purchasing medications online and the legitimacy of online pharmacies. Especially often, people are concerned about Canadian pharmacies, as now it is a kind of double-faced “brand” that, on one its side, presents reliability and high-quality standards but also associated with rogue pharmacies.

It is true that frauds are numerous and you have to be careful when buying drugs online. And many of online drug stores that call themselves “Canadian pharmacies”, indeed, are not. Being an independent resource, we decided to investigate the case of rogue Canadian pharmacies and chose randomly several websites, studied them, and, then, contacted their teams. In this article, we present a transcript of our online chat with Supervising Pharmacist of My Canadian Pharmacy / MCP (ousu.org) Lucas Robertson, the purpose of which was to consider if MCP legitimate online store or not.

Dr. Maloney: Mr. Robertson, if your pharmacy is accused of being illicit, what is your answer to that?

MCP: First of all, our company has already been operating for almost two decades and that alone already proves that MCP is not a sham company. We are a part of a large health care institution based in Michigan, the US, have a Canadian office, and e-commerce websites to sell medications online. The websites sell internationally generic medications of selected manufacturers from Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Maloney: As far as we know, selling generic medications not approved by the FDA is illegal in the United States, but you mostly work for the US market.

MCP: It is illegal for businesses to import not approved generic drugs and distribute them in the US. Actually, it is not even possible to do that without using shady import schemes and we have never tried to get into such trouble. We are retailers selling the medications to individuals and there are no restrictions for people to buy prescription drug wherever they want. We are pretty sure about that.

Dr. Maloney: You have mentioned prescriptions. Do you ask for prescriptions when selling drugs on your website?

MCP: If you read attentively our policy on prescriptions on our website, you will see that we never persuade people to buy without a prescription and that is for their safety why we need prescriptions. It is the responsibility of our customers to go to their doctor or to any authorized medical facility to get the prescription and, then, to submit it or to send the original to our address.

Dr. Maloney: There are some online drug stores that offer a service if online prescription. Do you provide the same service?

MCP: No, we do not. We are a pharmacy but not a medical institution, and we are not authorized for that.

Dr. Maloney: Well, you sound professional.

MCP: Thanks. But for me, being professional is more important. (laughing)

Dr. Maloney: In this case, our next question relates to the positioning of MCP among the professionals: can you be found in the listings of PharmacyChecker or among the members of CIPA?

MCP: No, we are not. The membership in professional associations and registering with various validation services is optional. It is also a part of the business: you apply for participation in programs and pay some money to be listed among the selected pharmacies, but not being registered with any services does not mean you are not legitimate. We came into the market a bit earlier than CIPA was founded and we are fine with being independent. We have all the necessary licenses for providing pharmaceutical services and that is enough.

Dr. Maloney: Hmm, that is quite interesting what you say, and your position is worthy of respect, but, in that case, what do you consider the most important when doing pharmacy business online?

MCP: It is the quality what is important. The main focus of the team of MCP is to deliver quality medications to our customers, and we do our best to improve our procedures of the selection of medications for our website and quality control. Before we admit a range of drugs from a new supplier, we do a complete check-up of their production cycles and outgoing quality control and we order samples and do their chemical analysis. It is not possible that our customer to receive medications with a lower percentage of an active ingredient or containing some harmful substances.

Dr. Maloney: And which regulatory acts do you take for criteria when importing medicines?

MCP: Being a Canadian pharmacy, we follow the Canadian regulations, such as the Food and Drugs Act and its associated Regulations, but in those cases when we supply directly from the manufacturer’s production or from distributor’s warehouses in third countries, we have to comply with the regulations of those countries. For example, when we deliver the products originated from Europe, we have to follow the regulations of the EU.

Dr. Maloney: Do you sell medications produced in Asia?

MCP: Yes, we do. We have several Indian manufacturers and all of them highly respected, known all over the world companies. Many of their products are approved by Canada Health, as well as the FDA.

Dr. Maloney: What can you say about the safety of your websites? Can your customer be sure that their private data and payments are safe?

MCP: Probably, I am not the right person to talk with about that: I am a pharmacist and my responsibility is the quality of drugs and providing consultations on medications to the customers. But as far as I know, our websites are protected with HTTPS protocol and users may not worry. Our policies assure the privacy of all the data transferred through our websites.

Dr. Maloney: And what about the customer support?

MCP: We have 24/7 Chat and you also can give us a call by phone.

Dr. Maloney: And that we can prove from our own experience. It was not difficult to reach Customer Service and get connected with you. And now we can have this talk, validating that MCP is a really existing company with professional staff. Thank you, Mr. Robertson, for answering our questions on behalf of your company.

Conclusion: Our experience with MCP was positive. It is the 100% existing company with a team that works hard to provide the customers with quality medications and professional services. We love their meticulous approach to everything that is related to customers’ safety and their honest appeal to the audience without trying to hide anything in their work. We can qualify MCP as a trusted company with a long history and strong expertise.

In Search Of A Reliable Pharmacy: Where To Buy Drugs?

Online drug stores are becoming more and more popular, and numerous Americans are switching to online drug shopping since it’s a simple, productive, and anonymous way to purchase prescription remedies and over-the-counter meds. While numerous online drug stores are superbly fine, there can be issues and risks with some of them, and it is critical to know whether you are purchasing from a reliable company.

Before you purchase from an online drug store, make sure to see if it is an appropriately authorized. A few associations, including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PharmacyChecker, and the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) check online medication stores. Every one of these associations has a registry which records the drug stores they have endorsed.

But you can do a little bit of research yourself, too. Let’s find out how to choose a reliable online pharmacy that sells genuine drugs and complies with regulations.

What’s the trick with online pharmacies?

There are various potential issues with online drug stores, but you should keep in mind that there are laws to secure you, there are additional constraints to those laws. However, some untrustworthy organizations manage to find a loom in the law.

The FDA, which controls prescription sedatives in the United States, has no opportunity to screen the security and adequacy of imported items. However, you can always check if the products available in store are approved by FDA. Scan the list of any pharmacy store with the sortiment of FDA-approved drug as a reference, you can go with Borderhealth.org. Since sites can spring up in a day and vanish as fast, little can be done if you get fake medications or if you are scammed.

The major problems with online drug stores are:

  • They may sell fake meds.
  • They do not store and transport medications in certain conditions, which might affect the quality of products.
  • They can send you not what you requested.
  • They may sell unapproved drugs.
  • They might sell drugs without a prescription.
  • They may not protect your personal data.

How to avoid scams and unreliable companies?

It is okay to order medications from an online drug store, however not every single online drug store complies with legitimate rules. There are various things that you ought to think about when looking for an online drug store.

Here’s what you should do:

Check with your medical insurance

If your medicines are secured by your medical coverage organization, consider asking your health insurer for the list of affirmed online drug stores, as payers check drug stores before accepting them as providers. On the off chance that a drug store isn’t affirmed by your insurer that does not always mean that the drug store isn’t legal—it just implies that your insurance agency and the drug store don’t have an agreement with one another.

Make sure that the drug store asks for a prescription

Yes, prescriptions are a nuisance, but if an online drug store allows you to order any drug without a prescription, this is an indication that it isn’t legitimate. On the off chance that the drug store gives the possibility to et a prescription via their own physicians, this is not a legal and safe company.

Too low price tags are suspicious

 If you are paying for your prescription medicines yourself, you will need to save money, and it’s a smart idea to shop around. However, if you see a drug store with ridiculously low or high costs, watch out. Better find another place to buy meds.

Ensure the drug store company has a physical location

 If a drug store claims to be in the US or Canada, make sure that there is a certain address in one of those countries, because a P.O. box address is an indication that the drug store isn’t located where the name suggests.

Choose a pharmacy you’ve dealt with

Among others, choose the sites of pharmacies that you have seen or visited in real life. This way, you’ll have no doubt that this is a real pharmacy with legal and actual addresses, licenses, landlines, etc.

Check the conditions

It is generally useful to see what and under what conditions a pharmacy offers. Reliable companies will not sell all the drugs remotely, for which there are restrictions and strict regulations. Another sign that should alerted you is a limited assortment that incldies only serious medications and no over-the-counter additives, such as vitamins, medical devices like tonometers and other necessary trifles (ordinary pharmacies make a serious profit on them, and over-the-counter production makes up for 60% profit )

Take a closer look at medications offered

A reliable pharmacy will not offer medications that require special storage or transportation conditions, because it will be problematic to comply with them during delivery. In those, the rule of pre-order with subsequent redemption in a stationary pharmacy usually applies. This is generally the principle that distinguishes a reliable pharmacy from an illegal one, which is not responsible for anything.

How to check pharmacies? Let associations help you

In addition to the above-mentioned recommendations, you can use a few resources to find a real and authorized drug store. You don’t have to inquire at all of these companies, as they often work together.

Interesting to note: most of these organizations do not confirm the reliability of the majority of Net pharmacies.

NABP

The NABP is an expert relationship of the state sheets of the drug store, which are in charge of approving drug specialists and drug stores in the U.S. The NABP has two projects to help you. These incorporate the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program and a procedure of checking sites with the “.pharmacy” in their URL.

In 1999, the NABP built up the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program. The NABP screens the quality in online drug stores in 17 territories, for example, how they fill prescriptions, how they secure customers’ personal data, and how they interact with buyers. You will see the VIPPS seal on the sites of guaranteed organizations and the NABP records VIPPS certify drug stores on their site.

If an online drug store has a .pharmacy domain, or has the VIPPS seal, or is recorded as an affirmed drug store on the NABP or FDA site, it is accredited by these associations.

As indicated by the NABP, 96% of the Internet medication organizations they survey are not complying with state or government guidelines. NABP gives a list of online drug stores that are ‘Not Recommended’.

FDA

The NABP partners with the FDA to figure out which online drug stores get the VIPPS seal of approval. Because of this relationship and the way that the NABP speaks to the 50 state boards that permit drug stores, only U.S. organizations can get the VIPPS seal. Non-U.S. drug stores can enter the .Pharmacy program.

The FDA allows users to verify whether a drug store is appropriately authorized.

In the event that you choose to purchase drugs on the web, it is crucial to understand the legitimate issues. As per the FDA, “it is unlawful to import an unapproved medication into the U.S.” and “it is illicit for anybody, including a foreign drug store, to send prescribed medications that are not affirmed by the FDA into the U.S., despite the fact that the medication might be legitimate to sell in that drug store’s nation.”

Canadian Pharmacies — a way out

In some cases, Americans purchase prescriptions from Canada since they might be less expensive. A large number of these drug stores are affirmed by CIPA (official website Cipa.com). Notwithstanding, not every online drug store with the name “Canada” is really Canadian. The Canadian government has given admonitions to purchasers and CIPA gives a full rundown of confirmed online drug stores so you can check if a Canadian drug store is approved.

PharmacyChecker

PharmacyChecker is a for-profit organization that “gathers, assesses and reports accreditations, costs and client reviews in regards to drug stores that work on the web.” PharmacyChecker checks both the U.S. also, remote online drugstores, and it gives value correlations with explicit meds alongside evaluations from shoppers dependent on a five-star rating framework. To get the PharmacyChecker “seal of approval,” drug stores must:

  • Distribute their drugs through a drug store that has a permit in the United States, Canada, or other nation acknowledged by PharmacyChecker;
  • Guarantee that the financial data you send online is secure;
  • Guarantee that the therapeutic data you send online is private;
  • Require a unique prescription from a doctor;
  • Give right contact data on its site, including the organization address and telephone number.

Bottom Line

The number of online pharmacies on the web is overwhelming. Given the high price of drugs in brick-and-mortar US pharmacies and ever-growing cost of prescription drugs, it’s not a surprise that many Americans are seeking the ways to save money and find generic analogs.

You are free to monitor the market of online drugstores, but before rushing to make an order and save an extra buck, make sure you’ve found a legal and approved company. It’s not only about money — it’s about your health, too!

Seasonal Analytics of 5-Top Sought-After Drugs and Slumping Prices in 2020

Pricing Dynamics in 2019

The United States continue to hold advanced positions due to increased investment in clinical research and development of a large number of drugs in the fight against rare and serious diseases. It is noteworthy, how much companies spend on research, since these data are helpful in finding out which company focuses on the issue of internal growth. According to the data of the monthly retail audit of the Canadian pharmaceutical market conducted in the first half of 2019, 5 billion packages of medicines worth $300 billion were sold through the retail segment. The capacity of the drug market increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2018.

The weighted average price of one package of drugs increased by 6%. Cheap drugs are being removed from pharmacy assortment and consumers are forced to switch to more expensive drugs. Moreover, the price factor is less significant. In 2018, in the first half of the year, prices rose by 5%. The structure has changed in favor of drugs of the high price segment relative to February-July last year. Positive dynamics of sales was observed only in the category “over $8”, due to which the share of expensive drugs increased by 23% in money and by 2% in natural terms. By contrast, some public health initiatives were undertaken to counteract this extreme and uncontrolled soaring of the drug costs. In summer 2019 – and extended for the first autumn month, seeing the huge popularity of the deals – Canadian Pharmacy cohealthop.org released a number of special offers for most demanded healthcare items: cohealthop.org/seasonal-summer-offers-2019

Generic companies have been active in release and registration of new drugs, which exacerbates competition at the American pharmaceutical market. Drugs with the following therapeutic categories prevail in the generic market: agents that affect respiratory and central nervous systems, antitumor drugs and drugs that affect the digestive system and metabolism. Cordially-vascular drugs occupy about 20% of the US generic market, antibiotics – 14,5 %, and slightly less analgesics – 13%. One of the main risks for large U.S. pharmaceutical companies today is the expiration of a patent protection for original blockbusters. These drugs form a noticeable share in total sales of pharmaceutical giants, and this phenomenon has a great influence on the overall results of their business activities.

Tough Market and Prospects for 2020

Pharmaceutical companies trading in the public sector face greater barriers than firms in other industries — their patents are short-lived, their approval process is lengthy, and most of their projects are disadvantageous. The fact that the top three drugs were brought to market by large pharmaceutical companies should not be surprising. These companies had reliable pipelines, a good track record of transferring pipeline products to the market and money for PR and mass production. Small pharmaceutical companies stumble upon profitable drugs, but they are often bought back by large companies because they lack the resources to bring these drugs to the market.

From the investment point of view, this situation provokes speculative games of small firms, but even large firms are far from stable ratings. Large firms may suddenly lose their drug patents, which make up a significant portion of their profits, as Eli Lilly and Prozac did. That is why the pipeline is of great importance. Even with a large, profitable product such as Prozac or Viagra, the pharmaceutical company must have other products that are suitable to protect against the expiration of their patents and hidden patent trolls.

It is not always easy to predict the future of the drug. Studying social needs and desires can help determine what the next big thing will be in the pharmaceutical market. As with Prozac, all kinds of incidents can affect the area. With such an unpredictable and often unsustainable foundation, it is thorough research and understanding that makes the drug market financially viable.

Expenses on Promotion and Marketing

A significant part of the increase in promotional costs is attributable to sales professionals or sales force employees. However, many of the industry’s largest markets are currently oversaturated by sales representatives whose sales methods are becoming increasingly ineffective.

So, in the period 2005-2019 the number of sales representatives in the USA almost doubled to 80 thousand people, although the number of practicing doctors increased by only 28%. Thus, various U.S. states have accepted laws requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose all gifts or benefits to healthcare providers in excess of $25.

In addition to the work of medical representatives, another big weapon in the marketing artillery of pharmaceutical companies is direct advertising to consumers. In the United States, companies are currently allowed to market their medicines directly to consumers. Pharma’s DTC advertising costs are about $6 billion representing just 15% of the total marketing budget. Thus, aggressive marketing, whether aimed at doctors or patients, is becoming increasingly ineffective as a means of stimulating demand. Big Pharma responded to this challenge with various measures to reduce costs, including a reduction in the number of sales force employees in the forthcoming 2020.

By 2020, the role of the traditional sales representative will become largely obsolete. The industry, on the contrary, will have a much greater need for people with experience in creating brands, managing a network of external alliances, negotiating with governments and insurers, and establishing communication with mid-level specialists and patients. This will require retraining of existing staff and changing the core values ​​of pharmaceutical companies, taking into account the patient and his needs. However, if Pharma can overcome new challenges, it will be possible to achieve a significant reduction in marketing and sales costs. Counseling health care payers during development will put them in a much better position. This will ensure that the billions of dollars invested in R&D (
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_and_development) are wisely spent. Creating packages of medical services for the treatment of specific diseases (personalized approach) will guarantee the value of medicines, as well as provide new sources of income and greater loyalty from patients.

Top 5 of Most Demanded Drugs in the U.S. and Canada

There are 5 major players that take impact on the whole financial situation on the U.S. pharmaceutical market. For the period 2015-2019, ten U.S. pharmaceutical companies have increased sales of their medicines in the range of 20-100%. So, the leader among American drugs in the U.S. and Canadian market is Pfizer, Viagra. Sales of this drug increased over the analyzed period from $35 to $48 million, by 36%. Viagra was first used as a treatment for angina pectoris and hypertension, but it did not have much success in combating these conditions. Fortunately, the drug caused an unintended biochemical reaction on male sexual abilities. In 2012, the Pfizer patent for Viagra expired in all countries except the United States and Canada. This meant that other companies were able to produce generics using the same active substance. In the United States and Canada, a patent is valid until 2020. But the corporation still had to make concessions and allow Mylan and Teva to release the Viagra generics from 2017. The figure of Pfizer’s revenue is steadily falling and bearing a discouraging forecast for 2020.

Along with Viagra, the top five includes 2 more Pfizer drugs: Diflucan and Norvasc, occupying 2 and 3 places, respectively. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Monopril takes the fourth position: over the analyzed period, its sales decreased from $24 to 23 million, by 6,8 %. This situation indicates the focus of companies on any segment of pharmaceutical market in order to obtain maximum profits from the sale of one or two drugs. Thus, the role of American pharmaceutical companies on the market is fixed by the introduction of several drugs that occupy a strong market position and create fierce competition. Targeted U.S. company policies provide absolute leadership and perfect opportunities for 2020.

Prozac was created by Eli Lilly. The drug was used as an anti-obesity medicine and remedy for high blood pressure before the company came across its psychiatric use. Prozac was sold as a new drug for treating general depression by controlling the level of serotonin in the patient’s brain. This was the right time for Prozac, as the only drug for depression, Valium, was addictive and not completely free from unpleasant side effects.Despite competition from cheaper generic drugs, Prozac remains one of the most popular antidepressants and is used by millions around the world. According to the World Health Organization, out of 875 million Europeans, 100 million are in a deep level of depression. By 2020, depression will become a leader in global disease statistics, leaving behind infectious and cardiovascular diseases. And now, depression is the first most popular reason for going on sick leave in Sweden and the second in the USA.

Main Government Rules Regulating The Drugs

This article is devoted to the pharmaceutical branch of the USA. We have tried to collect of the necessary information that will help you understand the rules of drug regulation and pharmaceutical branch organization.

US pharmaceutical branch is organized quite differently comparing to those of the other countries. firstly, most regular stores are considered to be places where one can buy things needed every day, for example personal hygiene products, household chemicals, make-up products, dry packed food, drinks, and medical drugs, of course.

In the given store there is always a department where people can buy prescription medicines only.

In the USA drug stores may be a part of large pharmacy chains like Walgreens, BC Health (Battle Creek Canadian Pharmacy), Rite Aid, Duane Reade, CVS, Costco or may conduct their business independently. Sometimes big chains even provide their shopping space for small pharmaceutical shops inside.

Types of medications in the US drug stores

One should remember that medications in the USA are divided into two big groups: prescription and non-prescription drugs. The group of non-prescription drugs includes:

  • Pimple care (facial crèmes, gels, scrubs, masks etc.);
  • Cough / cold remedy (pills, sprays for throat, nasal sprays, cough syrups, cough drops and so on);
  • Remedies for allergic disease (Claritin, Zyrtec, Allergra, Benadryl);
  • Pain relievers (fever or pain relievers in the form of pills, crèmes, gels sprays etc. everything depends upon the type of pain);
  • Antiacids to treat epigastric burning, stomach ache cause by the superacidity;
  • Remedies for flatus, diarrhea, constipation;
  • Vitamins.

You can buy all the above-mentioned drugs without prescription. While choosing the medication you can always ask pharmacist for assistance as even non-prescription medications have their contraindications. So, the pharmacist will help you find the drug that will improve your health condition most effectively.

Another type of medications refers to the prescription drugs. As a rule, they are prescribed to treat chronic or complex disease and infections. You will need a doctor’s prescription when you decide to buy these medicines.

The given group includes remedies for:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases (any heart problems except high blood pressure)
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol level)
  • Infections (including bacterial infections to be treated with antibiotics and mycotic infections to be treated with anti-fungal drugs)
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Migraine.

This list does not include all the prescribed medications, so you need to contanc your doctor or ask a pharmacist in the drug store.

What do you need to fill in the prescription?

Of course, you don’t fill in the prescription document. However, you should know which information is needed.

First of all you should visit your doctor. In the USA it is called PCP – primary care physician. Sometimes you need another medical specialist. It depends upon the disorder you have.

As a rule, the doctor can give a paper copy of the prescription (you need to show it in the drug store) or send the electronic one to the drug store you choose. In this case your order will be ready as soon as you enter the drug store.

The doctor can also call to the drug store and provide complete information regarding your prescription. Be ready that you will not wait for a long period of time when you come to the drug store for your medications.

How to pay for the prescription?

Usually patients have medical insurance that covers the price of medication. It is very important that you provide correct insurance card in the drug store with “RX” letters on it.

Most insurance types provide only partial cost coverage. It means that insurance will cover major part of expenses and you will need to pay small share of the total price. For example, if you have private insurance (Aetna, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oxford, Medco, Innoviant etc.) you partial payment will make up 5 to 100 US dollars depending upon the total price of the medications.

If you have state insurance (Medicaid, Health First, Health Plus, Metro-Plus, Fidelis,) your payments will not exceed several dollars.

However, if you do not have any insurance the medications will cost you much. In this case you can ask pharmacist for a “discount”. As a rule drug stores can provide discount cards for patients to reduce the cost of medications. For example, Bchealth.com online pharmacy sells discount cards for 20 USD per year and this card will cover the cost of most medicines.

Some pieces of advice

When you are going to buy non-prescription drugs you will see the branded products like Advil, Viagra or Cialis for example which are expensive. At the same time there will be another medication lying on the shelf nearby and its price will be several time less. These drugs are called non-branded or generic as they are produced by independent pharmaceutical company, not by the branded company.

As a rule, generic drugs has the same pharmaceutical content and active substance and, as a result, the same pharmaceutical action. The pharmacist will help you find all the necessary information about these medications and reduce your expenses for medications.

What is FDA?

All the drugs and food produced and sold in the USA must have an FDA approval.

FDA is a Food and Drug Administration that controls pharmaceutical branch, issues laws and regulations referring the medications. The FDA’s mission is to improve quality and safety of food products, food supplements, beauty products and medical drugs, vaccines, veterinary drugs. According to the rules the above-mentioned products can be sold only after it is approved by FDA. DFA does not only provide certificates. It constantly conducts tests and controls quality of products and is authorized to terminate the certificate or license if the product does not meet high requirements of FDA.

FDA was created in 1906 and since then is responsible for the following activities:

  • Evaluation of food product quality and safety;
  • Pharmaceutical product effectiveness control;
  • Animal feed quality control;
  • Medical equipment quality control.

FDA approval has positive effect on the pharmaceutical company image and sales volumes of the medical drugs (as patients trust the medication and are ready to buy it). Find drugs with FDA sign on them and be sure you buy safe and effective medications.

However, don’t forget about restrictions and contraindications every drug has that is why consult your doctor before taking any medicine. Moreover, you should also remember that generic drugs (as we told here before) that does not have FDA approval may also be safe and of high quality. So you can check all the available information and then buy the required medication.