Mail Order Pharmacies

You’ve probably been spammed by them. Most of these pharmacies are located in Canada and they promise you Viagra, Prozac and even the addictive codeine-like drug Vicoden at cheap, discount rates, shipped in a plain box to your home. So, what gives?

First, drugs are a lot cheaper in Canada (and a lot of other countries including Mexico) than they are in the United States. This is probably because of the legal settlements against drug companies over the “problem” offerings of some companies, such as the Dalcon Shield, a contraceptive device that caused severe medical problems in women a few years back, the recent weight loss drug Phen-Fen or Thalidomide, the sleeping pill that cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women in the late 1950s. Billions of dollars in damage awards, mostly granted in the United States, may be part of the reason why a drug like E-mycin costs close to $50 in the U.S. while in Canada it is $15 or less.

Some drugs like E-mycin (aka Erythromycin, Erythocin), a wide spectrum antibiotic with few side effects used to treat tooth, urinary and bronchial infections (it is so safe that it can be given to people who are allergic to Penicillin and does not have the adverse body affects of a drug like Tetracycline) are actually sold over the counter in Mexico. In Mexico pharmacies give you a sheet of drugs available that tells what they are used for so you can make a wise purchase. In the case of E-mycin, the cost for this drug from a U.S. pharmaciy is between $35 and $55 for 50 pills, while the cost of 100 pills at a Canadian pharmacy is only $15. That's a considerable savings and if you can by-pass a Doctor visit (which varies in cost from $45 to $125) it makes it even more profitable to take a trip to Tijuana or even Vancouver. You can get the other two drugs listed, Penicillin and Tetracycline as well as E-mycin, plus hypnotic drugs like Valium and Thorazine over the counter. According to one person we talked to only a major hypnotic like Quaalude requires a Doctor prescription in Mexico.

Valium is probably the drug the Rolling Stones were talking about in the song “Mother’s Little Helper.” It’s a little yellow pill (in 5 milligram dosage) that relaxes you. A lot of “druggies” take 5 or more for kicks. At this dosage level Valium works like an alcoholic drunk, you weave and have slurred speech. From what we learned through those who went to Mexico, you can buy this right over the counter with no questions asked.

Not so with Canada. They require a prescription on most drugs, including Viagra the male sexual wonderkind. So it is not a walk in the park to get Valium, Prozac or the addictive pain killer Vicoden from some (not all) Canadian mail order pharmacies. Most of these pharmacies require you to send a copy of your prescription via mail or fax. The Canadian pharmacy then has an associated Canadian Doctor review this prescription and issue a Canadian prescription for you. At that point you will get your medications and in talking with people who tried the on-line pharmacies we found it can take up to three weeks in time just to meet the Canadian prescription rules and more than a week to ship you the medications. In one case it took close to 35 days to get the first time medication, so you better have a supply on hand if it is something you need.

We also found that some pharmacies in Canada that would hook you up with a Doctor for a free consultation. This Doctor might then issue a prescription for some medications, but most of the pharmacies that did this had limited offerings and were more interested in selling drugs like Viagra, the sexual “wonderdrug.” These pharmacies didn’t sell common antibiotics, although they did offer Prozac (a hypnotic drug) and Vicoden. We didn’t try to get one of these, because we weren’t interested in those type of drugs. Our test subject had a severe bronchial infection and wanted aid in overcoming it if we could get it for only $15 instead of the $40 to $60 pharmacies in the U.S. charged (on top of the $50 to $100 Doctor’s office visit fee – that’s $100 to $200 to get “cured” from a fever and bronchial infection that you can get “cured” from in Mexico over the counter for under $30 with no Doctor required).

Medications are classified by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as prescription or non-prescription. For example, once-upon-a-time, the skin fungal cream Clotrimazole was a prescription drug that required a Doctor’s prescription to dispense (while Tolnaftate was already an over the counter drug that did almost the same thing). Today you can get Clotrimazole without a prescription, but there are more effective anti-fungal creams that are still available by prescription only.

There are also a lot of money making scams and websites that will give you lists of Mexican and Canadian pharmacies who are cooperative for a modest fee that varies from about $65 to over $100. We were a little skeptical about these operations with their "come on see how little you pay" prices from the drugs. These companies don't provide the drugs or hook you up, they just give you access to a list of other websites.

Flocking to Canadian pharmacies for lower prices is understandable, we just hope that those Canadian pharmacies offering Doctor ”consultations” aren’t dispensing addictive substances like Vicoden over the phone or internet arbitrarily!

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