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Can I Save on Medications at a Canadian Pharmacy vs. Walgreens or CVS?

Canada's national healthcare system has led to lower drug prices in many cases, but can you really save by purchasing your drugs online from a Canadian pharmacy?  Ordering from Canada will require shipping and handling charges and you will have to provide the pharmacy with a prescription from your physician.

You may be surprised to realize that your local chain pharmacy can provide you with lower costs on your generic medications than ordering from Canada. On the other hand, medications not available in a generic in the US and some very costly drugs can be substantially less expensive when purchased from a Canadian pharmacy.

First, see if your prescriptions are on the low cost generic lists maintained by the savings clubs at Walgreens or CVS. Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target offer similar programs, without a club membership. Walgreens allows you to get 90 days of certain generic medications for only $12.00 and CVS offers some medications at a low $10.00 for a 90 day supply. n the case of both CVS and Walgreens, you will need to fill out simple forms to join their savings clubs. Additional savings on personal care items may also be available and you may qualify for other incentives, but a club membership fee is required annually. If the drugs you need are available through these programs, look no further. Ordering from Canada will not provide any savings when you can buy your medications at these low rates.

If your prescriptions are not on the common low cost generics list, consider using a site like pharmacychecker.com to see if a Canadian pharmacy would be less expensive than your local drugstore. You can also shop around and compare prices at Canadian pharmacies on your own. Patents expire in Canada more quickly than in the US, making generic drugs accessible in a shorter period of time. This is one of the main ways you can save shopping for drugs from Canada. While a Canadian pharmacy cannot file with your insurer, you can file your own claims for reimbursement. Shopping around is critical. Be sure to compare shipping rates and check for hidden costs. By law, a Canadian physician will have to rewrite your US prescriptions, so be certain that you will not incur additional fees.

Can you save by shopping Canadian pharmacies versus your local drugstores?

The answer depends upon the medications you need. Some drugs are significantly cheaper when purchased from Canada and others may be available at a lower cost when bought via the savings clubs offered by Walgreens and CVS or from low cost programs at other US pharmacies.

 



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