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How to Compare Canadian Drug Prices When Shopping Online

Did you know that global online consumer shopping spent $900 billion more during the pandemic than in 2019? Online shopping has always been a booming market. Yet, it has expanded even more during these past two years. You buy clothes, food, and electronics online, so why not your prescription drugs? Canadian drug prices could offer you cheaper rates on your daily prescription medications. 

As a bonus, it gets delivered right to your doorstep. But if you’re struggling to find information on which online Canadian pharmacy you should buy your drugs through, we have you covered. 

You should always exercise caution when shopping online. However, purchasing prescription drugs is a whole different ball game.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started on finding safe, reputable, and cost-friendly prescription medications in Canada. We will go over seven helpful tools that will help you find the best prices on the highest quality medication, so keep reading on for more information!

Are Online Canadian Pharmacies Safe? 

When buying drugs online, the first question that likely pops to mind is: are online Canadian pharmacies safe? In most cases, yes! Like anything else, you have scammers and those selling drugs on the black market and so-called “discounted” rates. 

These medications are often laced with additives. Or, they might not contain the actual ingredient you need.

They are dangerous to your health and could lead to greater medical complications long-term. Instead, here are some general guidelines for finding affordable Canadian pharmacies. 

1. Check for Generic Medications

Generic medications are one of the main ways you can lower your medication prices. You can shop around until you are blue in the face for deals on drugs, but if you only have options for name-brand versions, it will be higher no matter what. 

The research found that once three generic medications enter the market, drug prices decrease by approximately 53 percent. However, not all drugs have a generic version.

When a prescription drug enters the market, several patents protect it from market competition. These patents can last years in the United States, and without federal price caps, the costs can rise exponentially. 

When generic drugs come into play, they bring more competition and, generally speaking, lower prices. There are a few instances where this has not happened. One of the most well-known cases is insulin. 

There are three primary insulin drug companies that make insulin, and they control 100% of the market in the United States. As one company raises its prices, the others follow suit until you have insulin prices that have tripled in the past ten years. Additionally, these medications fall under a drug classification of biologics.

They often do not have generic counterparts that are treated equally, making the market competition a bit more convoluted. If you can find your generic medication in one Canadian pharmacy and not the other, you will find more significant price differences. 

Let’s look at an example. Brand-name Lexapro costs $135 for 84 tablets through Canadian Pharmacy Online. Swapping to its generic counterpart (escitalopram) will cost you $51. 

Are Generic Medications Effective?

Once you find a Canadian pharmacy offering generic medication, you may wonder if it is worth paying a little more for brand-name medication. First, talk to your provider about food sensitivities or allergies. There may be ingredients within generic medications that could cause allergic reactions. 

The primary differences are inactive ingredients. Brand-name and generic medications have the same active ingredient, mechanism of action, and dosage. 

2. Reading Online Reviews

Reading online reviews is another excellent method to help you find an affordable and reputable pharmacy. Previous customer experiences could alert you to a company’s reliability, drug selection, and more.

Online Canadian pharmacies can dispense medication directly from Canada. They can also ship from reliable manufacturers overseas.

Not every pharmacy will outsource medication from other countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, or Turkey. These countries could offer lower drug prices. It is essential that you read online reviews regarding previous customer experiences shopping through them. 

3. Do They Have Deals on Drugs?

Look at an online Canadian pharmacy’s current RX discounts or prescription medication deals. Sometimes, pharmacies will have discounts for first-time users or orders. You could save an additional $10 to $20 or more on your medication once you check out. 

Are these more affordable than other discounts or patient assistance programs? It will vary based on Canadian pharmacies, but it could save you more money long-term than patient assistance programs. 

Most of those programs are offered by manufacturers of drug companies. They will help cover portions of drugs to a certain extent or if a patient meets outlined criteria. These programs are not meant to last forever, and not every pharmaceutical company offers them. 

4. Are They Licensed and Reputable?

One of the first questions you should ask when finding a cost-friendly pharmacy is: do they require a prescription? One of the biggest red flags to fake pharmacies and prescription drugs is low prices without a prescription needed. 

Don’t fall for this trap! You need a licensed and reputable Canadian pharmacy to receive high-quality medications.

They may be more expensive than counterfeit pharmacies. Yet, they will save you more money long-term compared to U.S. pharmacies, and they will deliver quality medications. 

One way you can check a company’s reputation is by asking about its medication ordering process. If they require a prescription that is reviewed by a qualified clinician, it is a good sign. Check their website for licensure and ask about patient protection and security. 

Online pharmacies should have SSL encryption and financial information protection. This keeps you safe while ordering affordable medications. 

5. Calculate Shipping Costs

Shipping costs can easily offset cheap options for drugs. Exercise caution when you shop for drugs online, and they tack on an additional fee for international shipping. 

Companies that offer standard shipping for free will help you keep your costs much lower than pharmacies that charge shipping. Since your medications are shipped from other countries, they will take longer to arrive. If you need expedited shipping, plan on paying more no matter where you shop. 

6. What Are The Pharmacy’s Options for Drugs?

Another way to lower drug costs is shopping through pharmacies with an extensive selection of pharmaceutical drugs. Most reputable Canadian pharmacies will not dispense narcotics or controlled substances. 

However, a company with a broader selection will have more options to cover all your prescription needs in one order. They are also more likely to have generic alternatives. Pharmacies with limited selections could still leave you shopping around or visiting local pharmacies, increasing your annual drug prices. 

You also want a pharmacy with multiple options for the same type of drug. For example, most erectile dysfunction medication falls under a classification of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. The most common PDE5 inhibitor is Viagra. 

However, if you get a prescription for Viagra and find out that you are allergic to its active ingredient, you may need a similar type of medication without that ingredient. Levitra is another PDE5 inhibitor with the active ingredient vardenafil. 

If your physician swaps you to this medication and your online pharmacy only carries Viagra, you are back to square one. Check ahead of time regarding what types of drugs pharmacies dispense. 

7. Insurance Drug Comparison

Canadian pharmacies do not take U.S. health insurance plans. Instead, look at companies that will supply receipts listing their clinic as a licensed pharmacy.

These reputable pharmacies will often detail on their site that they do not take insurance. But they will give you all the paperwork needed to submit.

In some cases, you could use this paperwork for HSA, FSA, or insurance coverage. It is not a guarantee but is an option to help you save money. And before you start considering whether insurance coverage will save you more money, research shows that Americans have more out-of-pocket costs than other comparable nations, even with insurance. 

Finding Affordable Canadian Drug Prices

Have you wondered how you can find cheap Canadian drug prices? Now that you know you can purchase medications online, your next step is finding a reputable and affordable online Canadian pharmacy.

Fake pharmacies could supply you with dangerous drugs, even if the prices seem reasonable. Instead, look for a pharmacy that requires a prescription, is licensed, and dispenses various medications. Additionally, you don’t have to travel to local pharmacies since medications get delivered to you.

At Online Canadian Pharmacy, we have several generic and brand-name medications for you and your family. Check out our medications list to get started!