What is Canadian Pharmacy Intermediary?

canadian pharmacy intermediary connecting with users

Key Takeaways

  • A Canadian pharmacy intermediary connects patients with licensed international pharmacies.
  • We ensure high safety and cost standards
  • Look for the CIPA seal to verify a legitimate intermediary
  • You can order medications with a valid US prescription, limited to a three-month supply for personal use.
  • Patients can save up to 80% on medications compared to US prices

What is a Canadian pharmacy intermediary?

A Canadian pharmacy intermediary is a service or organization that acts as a representative between patients and licensed international pharmacies or approved fulfillment centers.

We work with licensed pharmacies and government-approved fulfillment centers in various countries. These countries include Canada, Mauritius, New Zealand, Turkey, Australia, the United Kingdom, India, and the United States. By working with pharmacies in different countries, we can offer a diverse selection of medications to meet the needs of our customers.

How does a Canadian pharmacy intermediary work?

Canadian pharmacy intermediaries work with regulators, pharmacists, physicians, patients, government members, lawyers, and consumer interest groups to enhance the standards by which mail-order pharmacy websites operate, ensuring patient safety and savings. We follow the same prescription process as U.S. mail-order companies, requiring a valid and signed prescription from the patient’s doctor or other healthcare provider who holds prescription writing privileges.

Availability of specific medications may vary depending on the country. Different countries may have different regulations and approvals for certain medications, which can impact their availability in the market. Regional preferences and market demands within each country can also influence the availability of specific products.

Canadian pharmacy intermediaries do not provide pharmacy services themselves. Instead, we assist patients in filling their prescriptions by connecting them with licensed international pharmacies and approved fulfillment centers. You have the choice of where your medications will be delivered, and this is confirmed with them at the time of purchase.

How can you know if a Canadian pharmacy intermediary is legit?

First and foremost, we recommend you look for the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) seal. If you want a pharmacy that follows a strict set of safety standards, a CIPA member is strongly recommended. CIPA is self-regulating, but has strict standards that all members must adhere to. CIPA has a Standards Committee whose members consist predominantly of licensed Canadian pharmacists. These standards include strict requirements for how to fill a prescription and a formulary of prescription medications, which guide which medications members can and cannot sell.

CIPA is an association of pharmacy intermediaries in Canada that provide mail-order pharmacy services to international customers. CIPA members focus on offering prescription medications at significantly lower costs than typical US pharmacies.

Canadian pharmacy intermediaries are members of organizations such as the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC).

CIPA member’s partner pharmacies are licensed and regulated by the government authority, in the country that the pharmacy resides. These pharmacies must meet specific standards, including having a licensed pharmacist on staff, not selling controlled substances, obtaining medical information from patients to avoid drug interactions, specific medication labeling protocols, providing patients with medication instructions , and following stringent safety and confidentiality procedures similar to those of US pharmacies.

CIPA-certified pharmacies and fulfillment centers undergo regular inspections to ensure adherence to CIPA standards of practice and regulatory requirements.

While CIPA members pay a fee for the right to carry the CIPA Seal, not all online pharmacies qualify for membership, nor would all online pharmacies choose to adhere to the strict standards required of CIPA members.

Is it legal to order medications through a Canadian pharmacy intermediary?

You can order medications online from reputable Canadian pharmacy and have them delivered to your US address. However, there’s a specific process:

  • You need a valid prescription from your US doctor.
  • You will need to submit your prescription to the Canadian pharmacy intermediary after placing your order.

Individuals are allowed to order a limited supply of prescription drugs for their own use. This amount is usually restricted to a three-month supply. The amount you can order depends on what your doctor prescribes. If your prescription is written for more than a three-month supply, the pharmacy may be able to fill it again when your refill is due.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) provides guidelines on their website in a section called “Are there any circumstances when I could purchase or bring an unapproved drug or device into the U.S.”.  Essentially, all medications sold in countries other than the United States are considered “unapproved” in the United States as they are rather approved in the countries in which they are sold.  For example, in Canada, prescription medications are approved for sale by Health Canada, which is Canada’s version of the FDA.

The circumstances under which an American might be permitted to bring a prescription drugs from another country into the United States include the following:

  • There is not an unreasonable risk
  • The product is for personal use
  • The quantity is not more than a 3 month supply
  • The name of the prescribing doctor is provided on the product

In general, we have found that the US authorities have an unwritten “compassionate” policy.  That is, prescription medications for personal use and for a three month supply are generally permitted.  From time to time, they do stop and seize medication.  However, good customer service from a credible pharmacy intermediary will replace or refund that product.

How much can you save?

The Canadian government negotiates drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, which allows it to secure lower overall prices compared to the US, where drug prices are mostly determined by the free market.

Canada has a regulatory body specifically tasked with reviewing and setting maximum allowable prices for patented medications. This helps prevent excessive price increases and ensures a degree of affordability.

Canadian pharmacy intermediaries often offer lower medication prices compared to US pharmacies. Although prices vary, by purchasing at our online pharmacy intermediary, you can save up to 80% of what you’d pay at a US pharmacy for many brand-name medications.  On average, the savings are approximately 43%.

Alternatively, In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) is funded by the taxpayer and provides free health care to the entire population of the UK (approximately 68 milion people).  Given the size of the NHS, they have tremendous purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices.

Other sources to verify the legitimacy of Canadian pharmacy intermediary

Reading customer reviews can help you gauge the experiences of others and assess the reputation of a business. Look for reviews on platforms like Shopper Approved. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced perspective.

When verifying and selecting a Canadian pharmacy intermediary, you should also look for strong customer service support.

Customer support can help guide you through the prescription submission process and address any concerns about its validity or potential issues. This minimizes delays and ensures you receive the correct medication safely.

In the unlikely event of any order errors or shipping problems, responsive customer support builds trust and ensures a quick resolution.

Proactive customer support can provide updates about potential shipping delays, medication backorders, or changes in regulations, demonstrating transparency and reliability.

When dealing with sensitive medical information, it’s crucial to have customer support that prioritizes privacy and handles all personal data securely.

Getting Started

  1. Create an Account: Create a secure account using your name, address, contact details, and any necessary information.
  2. Submit Prescription Details: Scan or photograph your prescription and upload it to your account.
  3. Review and Submit Order: Carefully check your medication details (name, dosage, frequency, quantity) and any shipping information. Proceed to the payment section and submit your order.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner