My Drug Center

The 1-2-3 Guide to Ordering Medicine from Canada

Tuesday 12 September 2023
Canadian Pharmacy
6 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Why Do People Order Medicine from Canada?

II. Benefits of Canadian Mail-Order Pharmacies

III. How to Order Medicine from Canada

IV. Putting it All Together

Did you know that you can order medicine from Canada for major cost savings—all while gaining access to a wider variety of brand-name and generic prescription drugs? U.S. residents and customers around the world have been taking advantage of the benefits of Canadian pharmacies for decades now, and you can do the same in a few easy steps.

In this guide, we’ll tell you how. First, we’ll explore why Canadian pharmacies have emerged as such a popular option for U.S. prescription drug centers, then walk step-by-step through the process of finding a pharmacy you can trust and filling your next prescription.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Canadian pharmacies offer brand-name and generic prescription drugs at a fraction of their U.S. prices.
  • Benefits of ordering medicine from Canada include: strict safety standards, a wide selection of prescription drugs, cost savings, convenient home delivery, and excellent customer support.
  • The CIPA certification logo is a clear indicator that a Canadian pharmacy can be trusted.
  • Most online Canadian pharmacies allow ordering online or by phone, depending on customer preference.

Why Do People Order Medicine from Canada?

Many people—especially United States residents—now order their prescription drugs from Canada. For many people who hear about this option, their first question is simple: Why? With so many pharmacies in the U.S., what is driving people to order medicine from Canada instead?

For most people, the first and most important reason is cost savings. The United States has the highest prescription drug prices in the world—and it’s not close. Across the board, prescriptions in the U.S. cost 240% more than they do in other countries. [1]

Bar chart shows that U.S. drug prices are 240% higher (on average) than other countries around the world


There are a number of reasons for this, including patent protection laws for pharmaceutical companies and a competitive advertising market for specific drugs. The important thing to note is that none of these cost drivers are going anywhere anytime soon, meaning the price disparity between the U.S. and other nations will remain wide for the foreseeable future.

It’s a hardship for many people to keep up, as demonstrated by the 37% of Americans who have skipped out on filling a prescription due to cost concerns. [2]

Beyond more attractive and manageable prices, Canada is a close neighbor geographically for Americans, and one they feel they can trust. This is thanks to strict safety standards (more on those later) and support from the U.S. government for importing drugs from Canada in order to save money, as outlined in President Biden’s executive order from 2021 asking states to help facilitate the process. [3]

All in all, Canadian pharmacies offer a safe, convenient, cost-effective alternative to a U.S. pharmaceutical landscape that prices out many of its most important customers. Let’s dive deeper into some of the most important benefits customers gain from using Canadian pharmacies.

Benefits of Canadian Mail-Order Pharmacies

Strict Safety Standards

Online Canadian pharmacies are regulated by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), which has a 100% perfect safety record in its third decade of operations. CIPA works with regulators, pharmacists, physicians, patients, and members of government and consumer special interest groups to continually enhance safety and quality standards, and make sure member pharmacies meet them. [4]

CIPA-certified pharmacies are recognizable by their certification logo (pictured below), which should link directly to their membership verification.

CIPA certification logo indicating a pharmacy is a certified CIPA member


Wide Variety of Available Drugs

Canadian pharmacies are not beholden to the same patent protection standards as U.S. pharmacies, meaning they can offer a wider variety of brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Generic Eliquis, for example, won’t be available in the United States until 2028. [5]

But the FDA has approved it for safe use. At My Drug Center, U.S. residents are able to order the generic version of Eliquis—Apixaban—at less than half the brand-name cost (and an even smaller fraction of the cost in the United States).

Chart from My Drug Center’s Eliquis ordering page, showing the price difference between the brand-name and generic versions of the drug

Cost Savings

Even when you’re ordering an exactly comparable prescription drug—i.e. a brand-name drug and not a generic alternative—ordering your medicine from Canada can still help you save significantly. At My Drug Center, for example, customers save up to 80% on their orders.

Online pharmacies in general save money on overhead costs and more efficient sourcing strategies that allow them to lower prices. Combine that with the aforementioned reasons Canadian pharmacies are more affordable than U.S. counterparts, and the result is a huge savings opportunity for U.S. consumers, especially those taking prescriptions on a recurring and/or long-term basis.

Quick and Convenient Delivery

Canadian mail-order pharmacies offer the convenience of delivery to your front door in just a few weeks. This is advantageous in particular for people who have transportation and/or mobility limitations, making it easier to reliably refill your prescriptions on time and without stress.

Customer Support

Online Canadian pharmacies often offer more accessible and immediate customer service than in-person pharmacies, with convenient phone, email, and chat options to help customers get the help they need.

How to Order Medicine from Canada

1. Find a Reliable Canadian Pharmacy

The first important step when you order medicine from Canada is to find a reliable pharmacy. Despite the safety measures put in place by CIPA and what most would consider basic ethical standards, rogue pharmacies still exist that sell unsafe medications and could compromise your personal information.

Be sure you find a Canadian pharmacy you can trust. Look for the CIPA logo, and follow through with checking the membership certification.

2. Search for Your Medication

Next, be sure the pharmacy you choose reliably supplies your medications. Different pharmacies may offer different medications, so it’s important to check on this as you vet potential options.

3. Have Your Prescription on Hand

Even though you’re ordering from Canada, you’ll still need your original prescription from your doctor. In fact, this is another key indicator of a reliable pharmacy. Be ready to provide a copy of your prescription to the pharmacy, and keep one for your own records, too.

4. Create an Account

Once you choose a pharmacy, create an account where you can store your information and order history. This step is required by most Canadian pharmacies, but only takes a few minutes. Once you do it before your first order, it helps make future orders and refills quicker to complete.

5. Complete Your Order

Finally, once you choose a pharmacy and create your account, it’s time to complete your order. You can do this online, and many pharmacies (like My Drug Center) also offer a by-phone option for customers who prefer it.

Putting it All Together

Ordering medicine from Canada offers several benefits for U.S. residents who want to access prescription drugs safely, reliably, and at an affordable price. Cost savings, a wider variety of brand-name and generic options, convenient home delivery, strict safety standards, and exceptional customer service are some of the most important to current customers.

At My Drug Center, we offer all of these benefits while helping thousands of customers achieve up to 80% cost savings on their prescriptions. Visit our website to learn more about how to order.

The information in the article is not meant to be used for treatment or diagnosis. It is designed for general awareness and for information purposes only. Always consult a medical professional for your specific healthcare needs.