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.