How to Find a Reputable Canadian Pharmacy Online

Wednesday 30 October 2019
Canadian Pharmacy

Table of Contents


I. First, know your rights when it comes to purchasing prescriptions online.

  a. Is it legal for Americans to purchase prescriptions online from a Canadian pharmacy?

  b. So, how does the FDA view this?

  c. Health Canada?

II. Don’t forget to consider your safety either!

  a. Is it safe to buy prescription drugs from a Canadian pharmacy?

  b. What are the signs of an illegitimate Canadian pharmacy?

III. Once that’s settled, start looking on the Canadian International Pharmacy Association’s website.

  a. What is the Canadian International Pharmacy Association?

  b. What makes them trustworthy?

IV. In no time, you should find a pharmacy service that’s more than reputable.


Considering buying more affordable drugs from Canada? Well, you’re not the only one!

As drug prices continue to increase in the U.S., more and more American politicians are considering importing Canadian drugs.[1] Some, like Bernie Sanders, have been suggesting the idea for years. But newer voices are joining them from a wide variety of backgrounds. In fact, even the Trump administration has been for the idea, coming up with two ways it could work.[2]

But it’s a plan that is not official for the time being. So Americans like yourself should consider going to an online Canadian Pharmacy instead.

Not sure where to find a reputable one? Then, just follow this guide of ours!

A golden hammer rests against a golden gavel.

First, know your rights when it comes to purchasing prescriptions online.

Before we start in earnest, you may feel a bit hesitant. And that’s perfectly normal! It can seem a little intimidating to purchase prescriptions online. After all, not everyone is aware of what is and isn’t legal about the activity.

It often seems easier to avoid the activity altogether. But you don’t have to give up an opportunity for cheaper medication! Instead, let’s explore the legalities of buying meds online.

Is it legal for Americans to purchase prescriptions online from a Canadian pharmacy?

It almost seems too easy to be true that you can just buy more affordable medication online from Canadian pharmacies. You just have to be aware of how the FDA and Health Canada view this activity.

So, how does the FDA view this?

The FDA has a complex view surrounding this issue.

But in general, they tend to look down on buying medication online from outside America.[3] The main reason why seems to involve safety. To the FDA, imported drugs are often not ones that the FDA has personally overseen. So the institute can’t officially approve them safe for use and sale.

This is their stance even for drugs approved by institutions like Health Canada. So if the drug has been deemed safe by Health Canada, don’t expect the exact same response from the FDA.

With that said, the FDA isn’t entirely against personal drug importation. It just depends on certain situations. For instance, you’re allowed to import drugs if the supply of them is only for three months or fewer. (To learn about other acceptable situations, take a look at the FDA’s page on drug importation.)

Health Canada?

Similar to the FDA, Health Canada has some concerns over buying drugs online.[4] According to the institute, doing so can be a health risk. After all, some websites are there to sell you counterfeit drugs or the wrong ones to make a quick buck. In some cases, you can even order drugs without a prescription. This would allow you to avoid needing a doctor prescription. But without a doctor to supervise your healthcare, you could end up harming yourself.

Despite those concerns, however, Health Canada does not disapprove of all online pharmacies. In fact, they note that some online pharmacies are legitimate. So they don’t suggest it’s illegal to use them. But they do suggest minimizing your risk when buying drugs online.

A silver-and-blue stethoscope is lying down next to a laptop.

Don’t forget to consider your safety either!

So, we now know that it can be legal to buy from online Canadian pharmacies. But how safe is it? Both the FDA and Health Canada cited concerns over safety. So there should be some cause for worry, right?

Is it safe to buy prescription drugs from a Canadian pharmacy?

Well, those two institutes are not wrong. But that doesn’t mean online Canadian pharmacies can’t be safe. You just need to make sure you’ve found a legitimate online Canadian pharmacy.

You can do so by looking for ones that do the following:[5]

  • Ask for a prescription from a licensed doctor
  • Offer contact information, such as a street address, PO Box address, or telephone number
  • Have a secure website (which you can see by looking for the “s” after the “http” in a website address) 

What are the signs of an illegitimate Canadian pharmacy?

What about illegitimate online Canadian pharmacies? How can you avoid them?

Same as what you did to look for legitimate ones! Just keep an eye out for specific qualities. Often, illegitimate ones don’t offer the following:[6]

  • Prescription requests
  • Displayed licenses
  • Licensed pharmacists
  • Secure websites 

Three people are looking at a computer, searching for an online Canadian pharmacy.

Once that’s settled, start looking on the Canadian International Pharmacy Association’s website.

Okay, so, buying meds from online Canadian pharmacies can be both legal and safe! Now, you just need to start your search for one. And the best place to start is through the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA).

What is the Canadian International Pharmacy Association?

According to HealthLink BC, it’s an association that represents certified, retail Canadian pharmacies. On their website, they offer a list of legitimate online pharmacies that you can look through.[7] In return, you’ll have an easier time finding a reputable Canadian pharmacy online.

What makes them trustworthy?

The most trustworthy aspect of them is that their safety and licensing both are overseen by professional authorities. As a result, each member of CIPA has their safety regulated by Health Canada. And their licensing is managed by a specific pharmacy regulatory college or association.

Before members can even join this strictly regulated membership, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Requesting patient prescriptions that are legitimate and signed
  • Getting to know each patient’s demographic and medical information
  • Keeping a profile on each patient’s health
  • Noting each patient’s medication history to prevent problematic drug reactions
  • Fulfilling 90-day quantities of medication
  • Allowing patients to consult a licensed pharmacist they have on staff
  • Making sure they don’t sell any controlled substances
  • Protecting each patient’s privacy using US pharmacy confidentiality and safety procedures

A woman is typing on a laptop to quickly find an online Canadian pharmacy service.

In no time, you should find a pharmacy service that’s more than reputable.

Armed with all this knowledge, you now have all you need to find a reputable online Canadian pharmacy in no time!

But to make your search even shorter, why not consider Canada Pharmacy Depot? We are certified by CIPA and know how to give you the safe online healthcare you need.

For more information, we encourage you to take a look at our other Canadian pharmacy topics. We want you to find the online pharmacy that suits your needs. So take your time and browse all the information available.

In the meantime, we wish you good luck in your search!

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.