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It’s a common belief among Americans that purchasing Canadian pharmaceuticals online is a safe, money-saving transaction. However, before you hit the web searching for Canadian sites to get your medication, there are some important things you should know.

FDA Regulations

First of all, if a pharmacy is located in Canada, it is not an FDA-regulated pharmacy for US citizens. This means that it is illegal for people to purchase and ship medicine from Canadian pharmacies into the United States. The FDA is in charge of keeping your medication safe, and non-approved medicine or pharmacies could cause you to get lower quality than you need, putting your health in danger.

To keep yourself above the law and to ensure that you receive safe medications, get your prescriptions filled from FDA-approved pharmacies that you can find on the list created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Scams

When purchasing from a Canadian pharmacy, you may be actually giving your information to scammers who will use that data to take your money or your identity. While US online pharmacies can be security-checked against FDA approval lists, you don’t have the same safety measures with Canadian pharmacies. This means that you can ensure that you’re giving your data to a real pharmaceutical group when you work with the NABP, but have to trust the site that tells you it’s in Canada and going to give you real medication.

Fake pharmacies can trick you in a variety of ways, so be sure to protect yourself against them. Never give your credit card or other sensitive information to a site you don’t trust, and always check your medication carefully before starting a newly-filled prescription. Know what your medicine looks like and compare the old to the new. Counterfeit or wrong medication can cause complications and possibly even death, so you want to always be sure that you’re taking the right medicine and keeping yourself healthy.

The Better Choice

Instead of using online pharmacy sites that claim to be Canadian and promise medication without a prescription at low prices, it’s better to follow the law and get your prescriptions filled at sites you can trust are legitimate and following FDA regulations. If you’re worried about price, shop around for the lowest-priced online US pharmacy and search for coupon codes for either the site or the medication itself to help keep costs down. If it’s still too expensive, talk to your doctor about it and they can help you find ways to reduce the cost or give you a cheaper alternative that will still be effective.

If you want to use an alternative to US pharmacies because you don’t have a prescription, it’s important to realize that prescriptions ensure that you are getting what you need and staying safe. If you purchase medication without a prescription, you could be putting your health at risk, which isn’t worth the small amount of time and money that a short doctor’s visit will cost you.

The US prescription system is in place to help keep you safe, so even though Canadian pharmaceuticals may sound like a great way to get your medication, you have to be aware that it is illegal and could lead to unexpected consequences, like counterfeit medication or identity theft. Stick with FDA-regulated pharmacies and protect yourself from those dangers.

Michelle Winters writes for AccessRx.com where you can learn more about the dangers of canadian online pharmacies.