This is Elvis the Cat. He looks innocent, no?
In actuality, he is the Deepest of Nappers, Messiest of Eaters, and Fiercest of Jumpers on Furniture. (He used to also entertain himself by beating up the other neighborhood animals, but we’ve had a few talks about that, and now he mostly restricts himself to a few kitty war cries from time to time.)
Elvis the Cat is also a huge flea magnet, which brings us to why he’s the star of today’s blog on prescription drugs. A couple of years ago, Elvis the Cat’s fleas were so bad that fleas infested my entire apartment. Friends and family refused to come over until the fleas were eradicated, and since holistic pet meds didn’t seem to do much (diatomaceous earth, anyone?), in desperation I turned to prescription flea drops.
The prescription flea drops solved Elvis’ flea problem. Unfortunately, the total tab for a six month supply of Frontline Plus prescription flea drops can run as much as $105, not a very affordable option when you’re trying to save on your own prescription drugs let alone your pet’s. But even on sale at PetCo online, the Frontline Plus prescription flea drops are $68 (plus shipping and handling) for a six month supply. Other online pet suppliers carry the same six month supply of Frontline Plus for between $65 (USPets.com) to $75 (Amazon.com), all before shipping and handling.
Faced with a prospect of a miserable summer of flea-dom (for both Elvis and me!), I took to the Internet again, determined to find a more affordable option for Elvis’ flea drops, and confirmed what I had suspected:
Not only are my prescription drugs cheaper in Canada, but Elvis the Cat’s prescription drugs are, too! A quick scan through Canadian online pet stores show a six month supply of Frontline Plus routinely selling for $55 (plus S&H). ThiftyVet.com offered the lowest price I could find for a six month supply, a bargain-basement $45.99 plus $5 for shipping and handling.
For comparison, the most expensive prescription drug I use is Losartan Potassium, brand name Cozaar. Losartan Potassium routinely runs between $65 to $75 for a 30 day supply here in the United States. A 90 day supply of Losartan Potassium isn’t much cheaper, usually running around $200. However, Canadian online pharmacy ABCOnlinePharmacy.com offers 112 tablets of Losartan Potassium for $125, a more than 30% savings. A Losartan generic is even cheaper, less than $55 for a 90 day supply.
So Why Are Prescription Drugs (Both Pet and Human) Cheaper in Canada and Other Countries?
It’s no fluke that prescription drugs are cheaper in Canada and most other countries. The Canadian government strictly regulates prescription drug prices, and puts a ceiling on what prescription drug manufacturers can charge for their drugs in Canada. In addition, other countries, including Canada, allow drug manufacturers to start selling generic equivalents for brand name prescription drugs before they can here in the United States, like the Losartan generic I found on ABCOnlinePharmacy.com. It all adds up to much more affordable prescription drug prices.
But Is Buying Prescription Drugs from Canada Safe? Is It Even Legal?
Before you go running off to buy prescription drugs from Canada, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone to except a drug manufacturer to bring in prescription drugs from a foreign country, so technically it is illegal for you to buy your prescription drugs from a foreign country and bring them into the United States or have them shipped to you here. This includes prescription drugs which are originally manufactured in the U.S. and exported to a foreign country which you may want to bring back to the U.S.
That being said, the FDA generally does not take action against individuals bringing in small amounts of prescription drugs (usually a 90-day supply) for their own personal use. Of course, enforcement is up to FDA discretion, but their guidelines prioritize going after drug rings rather than your average senior citizen ordering their monthly prescription drugs from Canada.
However, there are basic safety risks in buying prescription drugs from a foreign country, especially if you are buying drugs through an online pharmacy. Anyone can set up a “pharmacy” online, and it can be extremely difficult to verify that you are actually receiving your prescription drugs from a legitimate source. Some online pharmacies have been known to ship substandard drugs, drugs that are past their expiration date, drugs that are too strong/weak, counterfeit drugs or drugs that have been sourced through countries without adequate safety standards.
In addition, prescription drug trade names are not standard across countries so there is a risk that by ordering Flomax (which in the U.S. is a medication for an enlarged prostate) you will receive the drug known as Flomax in Italy (which is an anti-inflammatory drug).
So, if you’re going to buy prescription drugs from Canada or elsewhere, be cautious and careful. The potential savings on prescription drugs can be significant, but you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize your health or well-being.
For more on savings on prescription drugs, visit MyHealthCafe.com:
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