Buying Drugs Online.
Buying drugs from Canadian online pharmacies can equal big savings, but first know your sources.
Pharmaceutical Outsourcing continued...
But advocates for cross-border drug buying point out that most medications
purchased from reputable Canadian or European pharmacies are the identical
medications -- brand names as well as generics -- that are available at your
local drugstore. In addition, those medicines, including some of the
blockbuster drugs advertised on the network evening news programs, may be made
not just in North America but also in Europe, South America, the Middle East,
"There are about 60 locations where the pharmaceutical industry
manufactures all across the world," Albano tells WebMD. "Lipitor, for
example, comes from Ireland, is manufactured and shipped to the United States
and then shipped to Canada. And some Lipitor goes right from Ireland to Canada,
so this whole notion that Canadian medications are not safe is simply
Barry Power, PharmD., director of practice development for the Ottawa-based
Canadian Pharmacists Association tells WebMD that "most drugs are made in
one or two global locations and then exported to all the countries, so even the
term 'reimportation' is technically incorrect. And there are actually quite a
few drugs that are made in Canada, so it's all just a matter of spin-doctoring
in a lot of cases."
Mayor Albano had confidence in the source of the lower-cost drugs his city
offered to municipal employees and retirees because he had done his homework,
he says. "Before we started the program officially in Springfield, I went
to Canada and went to the pharmacies. I spoke to the pharmacists, and then we
started my son on his insulin and related products three months prior to the
official beginning of the program. The idea was that it's a medication that you
have to take precautions with, and I thought my public employees would realize
that 'if it's good enough for the mayor's family, then it would be good enough
As for the regulatory authorities, Albano says that the FDA made a lot of
noise at the time the program was announced but took no real action to stop it.
Since then, many city and state governments have implemented or announced
similar plans. The FDA has continued to shy away from enforcing regulations in