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Question:
Do you have any advice on how to find trusted pharmacies to refill my cholesterol medicine in Canada?

Answer:
In 2002, ConsumerLab.com's founder, Tod Cooperman, M.D., started a second company, PharmacyChecker.com, to evaluate pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere which sell to Americans online. It has become the major, independent source of information on this subject.

You can use the PharmacyChecker.com website to find PharmacyChecker.com approved online pharmacies and compare drug prices. Prices on brand name medications are often 80% lower than in the U.S. because drug prices are lower in other countries where governments negotiate and/or limit prices on medicine. Most of these online pharmacies work with licensed pharmacies in multiple counties, allowing you to find and chose the lowest price around the world -- which might be from a pharmacy in England, for example, rather than Canada. It typically takes about two weeks for you to receive your medication. You must provide a valid prescription from your doctor and the drug cannot be a controlled substance, such as a narcotic. 

Be aware that, technically, it remains illegal for you to get your medication from outside the U.S. However, the U.S. government has not prosecuted Americans who do this for themselves (buying no more than a 3-month supply), and an estimated 4 million Americans get their medication this way. For more information, go to www.PharmacyChecker.com.

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Bernadette11137   August 7, 2016
I do the same ( for the last ~4years)for a betablocker not yet generic, much more expensive in the US. It is made in Italy or Germany and sent from a UK pharmacy...also a senior but without Part D which I refused to purchase on principal! ( From its start, Part D does not require the gov't to negotiate with Big Pharma for price..can you believe!?!?!)

Barbara11130   August 3, 2016
My latest Gastroenterologist prescribed Budesonide caps for collagenous colitis. When I went to pick up the RX, it was $1140 for a one month supply (this is the generic for Entocort EC which has been produced for almost 20 years). RX coverage would only cover ~$800/mo so my out-of-pocket would have been ~$400/mo. I'm a senior on a limited income and could not afford the OOP. In researching online pharmacies in Canada, I contacted the Canadian government to determine what governing bodies were in place to oversee these entities. I was advised that each territory or province is responsible for those businesses in their purview and individuals can check with the respective government entity.
I did my "homework" and found a great online pharmacy to fill the RX for Budesonide. The drug comes from Sun Pharma in India which is the fifth largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world. I checked them out to see if there were complaints from consumers to the FDA.
I'm more than pleased with ordering from this particular online pharmacy and the efficacy of the drug. The Budesonide cost to me is ~$40/mo and it takes about three weeks to arrive from the time I order it 'til it arrives in the mail.
Why the generic cost in the US is so ridiculously expensive is beyond me. I now check the prices of all RXs with this online pharmacy. So far, almost all the prescribed drugs are more cost-effective when purchased through local pharmacies in the US.

This CL Answer initially posted on 8/2/2016. Last updated 7/26/2017.

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