questionshave you ever bought drugs in canada?

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@coreyking: is their a diffrence really ? Beyond the whole spoken language ?

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I haven't, but I've heard countless stories about the scams over international prescription drugs, and the dangers involved I would definitely give it some time with your insurance company first. I know it's expensive, but getting the right medicine for a little bit more is probably more beneficial than getting the wrong stuff for a little bit less. Also, you probably should wait to see if the brand name prescription even works for you, some drugs just don't work for some people in general. I'd say give it a month until your next refill, make sure it works, and during that month ask around (like you're doing here) to get some better information.

Hopefully someone else has something better, but that's my advice!

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@djbowman: It was just a joke. I go to Costco for my Rx. Very cheap and safe. GL

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@eraten:

I took @djbowman's question to mean that the non-generic version of the drug has been working for some time while the generic one does not. I believe DJ is asking about the name-brand version from a legitamate drugstore in Canada vs a non-working generic from the US.

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I looked into buying drugs from Canada, especially since one that I used to be on is over-the-counter up there. However, the total cost (including shipping) from Canada was more than my copay for the non-generic version of the drug unless I got about an 18-month supply. Thus, I never followed up on it. I did discuss it with my doctor though and he acknowledged that the OTC version from Canada was the same stuff.

Then he switched me to other stuff in April and my copays have gone down by about 60%.

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My dad takes some stomach medication, but recently lost his job. I've been ordering generics for him online, and he says they ship from India, and they seem to work. I've just done some brief research on sites to look for reviews, and then gone with the least shady looking ones. The two websites I've tried have worked out, though the first website we used mysteriously disappeared after a year. Since you have a prescription, it'll be easy to get your medication. I've noticed most reputable Canadian online pharmacy sites require prescriptions and will even do prescription transfers.

Not sure who owns Pharmacy Checker, but it was recommended in this Yelp Discussion and it looks like people are in favor of Canada Drugs though I'm not sure if they're selling Brand names. Good luck!

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@djbowman: You're close enough. You could DRIVE. Yes, there's a zillion and one reputable Rx in Canada, and there used to be ones in Mexico, too (but I would find it inadvisable now). My parents used to go to Mexico once a year to buy certain types of medication, and it seemed to work for them.

I have no personal experience with either, since I take nothing (other than some vitamin D and Glucosamine Chondroitin). I do know many people for whom the Canada solution seems to work, though.

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Yeah we were using Lexapro and we had a reasonable copay but they came out with the generic a couple of months ago and it did not work so back to using the Lexapro but the dumb insurance company is wanting me to pay 120 bucks a month when retail I can get it for 100 here in the US.

@shrdlu:I have totally considred just driving to Canada as well. do you suppose I can just walk into a Walgreens/CVS/Riteaid whatever in Canada and get it filled with a US prescription ? And it will also be cheaper ?

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I just want to say how amusing it is that the "Have You Ever Bought Drugs In Canada" is currently right above "Are You Doing Anything Crazy This Weekend?" on the questions.

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@bingo969: I was totally expecting to get the title edited by mods as it looked kind of hinky but I thought it added a good comic value

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So as further information:

I called some local pharmacies in Canada and they all said as far as Brick and Mortar goes they have to have a prescription from a Canadian Doctor so no go on just driving there

As to online Canadian pharmacies I looked around quite a bit and found Northwestpharmacy.com and they charge $104.99 +9.99 shipping = $114.98 USD for the Lexapro which is 30 dollars less than what the generic costs on a 90 day supply with my insurance. So good deal financially

I called and spoke to someone who was excellent and seemed totally legit. She mentioned and in the case of Lexapro they get it from their international dispensary and right now if I ordered it It would come saying it was marketed for Denmark because that’s where they could get it cheapest right now.

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She also pointed me to CIPArx which I had already found myself which is a regulator of pharmacies in Canada that legitimizes these online places to ensure your getting the real drugs the US National Bureau of Economic Research studied them and said they do a good job of regulating it as well

So that combined with the fact that they girl went out of the way to mention that I might incur intl transaction fees since they are Canada based (though all transactions are in US dollar) leads me to believe that they are pretty legit …. If it was a scam I don’t think they would go out of the way to mention this…..

She did say that they cant transfer a prescription and have to get it directly from the doctor but that shouldn’t be a problem

So given all of this any other thoughts about due diligence to do before trying ?

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the only other problem is that it takes FOREVER ... 3 bs days of processing and then anywhere from 8-18 buisness days to get to you because it has to go through customs.

I take this as a good sign really that its going through customs and is legit but a concern to consider

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@djbowman: My parents have really liked the personal service they get for several prescriptions they have gotten for many years through a Canadian pharmacy (sorry I don't know which one). The pharmacy contacts their doctor to get the prescription verified, and my mom, who hates computers, likes that she can call them to get a refill, and that they call her when they have any questions that might otherwise delay prescriptions. The actual shipments come from all over the world, often changing from one refill to another. In fact, the only issue she ever had was early on when their credit card temporarily blocked payment thinking the foreign transaction was suspicious.

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@gionot: would you mind asking them for me ? I would love a reccomendation

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Interesting responses. My husband tried this once. He thought he was ordering from Canada and got a package from India. The paperwork was not written by someone with english as a first language. He returned it and never tried again. The one he tried did not ask for a prescription so that may have been a red flag. Maybe it was an OK but we were not sure enough to try the pills or the free "enhancement" pills that were included in the package.

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If a generic isn't working for you the brand-name won't either.

A generic medicine has to be basically identical to the brand name in order to be sold. http://tinyurl.com/8nb8fw8 <-- here is a slide show about generics vs. name brands

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I used to get meds in Mexico. You didn't need a prescription for things like antibiotics back then (you do now), so when I was poor and could not afford dental care it was a blessing to be able to buy antibiotics for my frequent dental infections. It wasn't the best choice, it would have been much better to have gotten treatment for the problem. But back then we had no indigent dental care here. A friend of mine has spent many years buying his elderly grandfathers prescriptions in Mexico,, it's the only way they could afford them.

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@spacezorro: While what you say might be correct in general your blanket statement is incorrect. If you had bothered to research what you said you would find that in this case what was patented was a specfic active ingredient but the generic is not exactly the same in its delivery method and hence the reason the name brand works and the reason the generic does not

I have taken many medications in my life and many generics and most times I cannot tell a difference in this case I can tell a very pronounced one maybe this rule is diffrent when it comes to a certain class of drugs ?

Anyway maybe the generic is new and therefore needs to be corrected but making a blanket statement in attempt to make me look ignorant or uninformed is rude

Thank you everyone for the input it has been very helpful. I think we are going to try it but plan to think it over this weekend

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A life is not something to trivialize. Get the meds you need then start questioning. As far as Canada goes, no, I have not. But, it sounds like you have found a reputable source. I love excellent customer service!

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@djbowman: I'm sorry that you thought I was being rude by attempting to make you look ignorant or uninformed. I am also sorry that you have to take so many medications.

What I was trying to say is..
You can go to the store and buy 500mg Tylenol caplets or the generic 500mg Acetaminophen caplets, and according to the FDA both of those medications are the same. The Acetaminophen gel-caps are not a generic for the Tylenol caplets.

The FDA says a generic medication can be dispensed in place of a name brand if it matches the name brands dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance, characteristics, and intended use.

When you said: "so we have a prescription that just came out with the generic but after 2 months the generic was not working so the doctor wrote a prescription for the brand name. " I assumed you were talking about getting prescribed the specific generic for a specific name brand medication, not a completely different medication.

Continued...

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If your name brand medication does not have a matching generic, and it is the only one that will work for you, then sadly you are going to have to take the name brand until the patent runs out.

I hope you feel better.

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@spacezorro: Re your statement, "If a generic isn't working for you the brand-name won't either."--That is not at all true. For certain medications, it's okay to go generic, but for others (most notably Lasix, Thyroxine, etc.) there is enough of a difference in the production process to affect how the drugs are absorbed that there is often a PRONOUNCED difference in effect. I write for generics whenever possible...but sometimes the brand name DOES make a huge difference.

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@spacezorro:

I believe that what @djbowman has clearly stated is that the Lexapro brand of escitalopram has worked for him (apologies, if a her) for some time, but when he switched to generic escitalopram two months ago, it stopped working.

While what you describe is how generic drugs are supposed to work, and usually do work, I can recall a number of cases (Wellbutrin, for example) where the generic worked very differently for people (and as I recall led to numerous suicide attempts in the case of Wellbutrin).

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Edit: And @reginafilangee is a doctor, so she can be trusted. ;)

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@djbowman: I'm currently at a medical conference where several hundreds of us were discussing this very topic (out-of-country pharmacies, etc.) in a lecture with heavy audience participation just today...and I have some very impt pros and cons for you to consider. Some old, but also some new ones. Sorry, but I'm very tired and must get to bed for another day of 8am-6pm conference lectures tomorrow. I do promise to come back to this if you can hang tight until early next week, though. Depends on how long it takes me to recover from 5 days in a row of such intense edumucashun.

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@djbowman: I will ask my folks which Canadian pharmacy they are using, but because they are away right now, the earliest I can get an answer is Sunday night or Monday.

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@djbowman: I would like to defend, @spacezorro: while I do truly not know @spacezorro: intentions I would say that because s/he linked a government web page when stating what I believed a few years earlier I would say @spacezorro: was genuinely trying to help.

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@djbowman: My dad says they have been getting their prescriptions from Canada Drugs for 8 years and are "..well pleased. Their personnel are real nice and helpful and drugs arrive when they say they will." They also have free shipping. My folks have a credit card on file with them and everything is charged to it. The phone no is 1-800-Can-Drug (226-3784) and web site is http://www.canadadrugs.com

He said he had a form somewhere for 25% off the first order, so I checked over at RetailMeNot and see you can also get a coupon code to use online.

Please let me know if it works out for you. I know my folks would be pleased to hear that their recommendation worked for you. Good luck!

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@gionot: I just checked out Canadadrugs.com adn they look pretty good to. They are a bit more expensive but I am looking at it still.

My wife is the one who takes the medication and she is still a bit lery despite my research

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@reginafilangee: I am very interested in your notes and look forward to them !

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@gionot: unpon further review after promo code and free shipping it is 30 bucks cheaper :-) though their online service isnt quite as good so I might call them as well to evaluate though they do have pictures of the drugs which the other doesnt ...

Ok so when I chat with them though they are going on still trying to push me into the generic like asking why I wouldnt use it .... that makes me a little lerry

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@djbowman: Since many generics work for many people, I would personally find it reassuring that they were trying to make sure you know there are less expensive options. My mom calls them if she has a question and finds them quite friendly and helpful, so you might want to try phoning to discuss your concerns.

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@reginafilangee: I am still really interested in the notes if you have time to pass them along. I pretty much have my wife convinced but any more ammo would be great or things to maybe cause me to reconsider

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@djbowman: I haven't forgotten about you, dj. Sorry for the delay, but a family emergency developed on the day I returned home from the conference. It's 2:23am where I am now, but I'll try to get back tomorrow sometime. If you're in a rush, though, go ahead and follow your instincts. I can always get the factual info to you later....but I will definitely try for tomorrow.