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Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Canada

Posted by joyfulguy (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 4, 07 at 16:03

I'm doing some checking as to the rules that govern Canadian pharmacists filling non-resident prescriptions, as I've talked to some U.S. residents about their being able to get their prescriptions filled here.

A large chain says that they don't do it.

I have not yet contacted any of the small, local ones - either forget when I'm near one, or am too busy at that moment. Maybe tomorrow (most are closed on Sunday).

Yesterday I attended a reunion of former Korea missionaries of our libeal Protestant denomination and one of the guys there is a Canadian pharmacist (married to a Korean lady, and their daughter is married to a guy who works for Schlumberger [oilfield service co.]- so they've lived all over including, recently, Belfast ... and recently moved to Siberia). The pharmacist is pretty well retired, but works occasionally as relief person with pharmacies in their small city.

He says that recent rule changes allow Canadian pharmacists to fill prescriptions written by physicians in various out-of-province jurisdictions, including the U.S.

But - they must see the person for whom the prescription is to be filled. Which is a major part of the reason that a number of U.S. people come up here by the busload from neighbouring U.S. States (and some not so neighbouring, I guess).

It was only a few months ago that the U.S. Dollar was at a premium of about 15 cents, later about a dime, which helped pay the bus fare (and rumour has it that there are some touristy attractions in various parts of Canada ... including the people).

As of Friday, however, it takes US$1.07 to buy CDN$1.00, so that almost requires that people wanting to get prescriptions here need to consider hitch-hiking.

I think that some of the Canadian pharmacies that were filling precriptions by mail are based in Manitoba (above Minnesota, Montana)- I was in contact with a guy in Manitoba some time ago who was doing it, but haven't thus far been able to find his address.

I think that some had links with Canadian physicians who were willing to confirm prescriptions written by their U.S. counterparts - but I suspect that would mean sticking their necks out quite a long way. There must be a way around it, or I doubt that they'd do it.

That's where things stand with me at the moment, folks who are interested in this project of mine.

We all realize, of course, that the results of this will be difficult for drug prices in Canada in future, for most of the drug companies are huge multi-nationals, and are not going to be pleased with this kind of nonsense continuing. And it's much more likely that Canadian prices'll rise than that U.S. ones will enjoy the old hatchet job.

Right?

Good wishes to all of you for enjoying the rest of your weekend, and hoping for good things in the week ahead.

Aren't you pleased that you had that addition to your beauty sleep, last night? Some of us need all of that that we can get!

ole joyful


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

If I remember correctly - or if my old brain even remembers at all .... there was an actual store here to buy drugs from Canada.
I Don't know how it worked - how much it costs - or what the law is (or was - I haven't seen the stores lately ).
My insurance finally kicked in , thank Goodness.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Canadian pharamcies used the Internet to take orders for US citizens. I do not know if this is legal for either the US citizens or the Can pharmacies.

joyfilguy posted: He says that recent rule changes allow Canadian pharmacists to fill prescriptions written by physicians in various out-of-province jurisdictions, including the U.S. But - they must see the person for whom the prescription is to be filled."

Do you have a news link to this? I would like to read it. My Google-Fu seams to be weak and I can't find anything on it.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Bud WI,

Can't give you legal chapter and verse ... just a quote from a licensed Canadian pharmacist.

It must be reasonably legal ... U.S. people have been coming up here by the busload to get their meds here.

ole joyful


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

This issue was also in the Michael moore movie "Sicko". Americans cross the bridges to go to Canada for medical appointments and prescriptions. I remember a few years ago there was a shortage of flu vaccine in the US. Tour groups took busloads of Americans acrosss at Niagara Falls to get flu shots. Not sure if they did any sight-seeing along the way. Niagara Falls Canada is one of my favorite cities-great views of the falls and loads of good,cheap Italian restaurants.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

So let me get this right - as a Canadian tax payer I have been taxed which in part pays for the subsidized medication prices. So if we sell our subsidized medications to out of country visitors we could face possible shortages? Sorry to our US neighbours - I'm sure you feel if you pay for the product you should be able to buy it - to me, you should be charged the extra that my tax dollars subsidize.
Any Canadians - am I wrong on this? I mean if I am - please correct me.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

That is basically my question mcpeg. Something does not seem to add up here. I've traveled in Europe and some countries do not allow you to even enter for one day unless you can show health insurance papers to prove that you are completely covered in full.

One time when I was returning from Mexico the US border officals conficated my jars of vitamins and dumped them in the sand right in front of me. Vitamins are expensive. I lost lots of money with their stupid stunt. Apparently the reason is that they did not want Americans to return to the US with medications purchased in Mexico so they take no chances and confiscate anything that looks like a pill. Nothing you can do about it either. That is why I am puzzled about hearing that Americans can just run up to Canada by the busload and purchase things like that. I have heard of people traveling to Mexico for dental work and surgery because of the cheaper cost and they do not have any subsidized national health care plan there either.

Just wanted to see a new link or website that explains the rules.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

mcpeg, I'm an American and certainly take no offense to your concern and I would agree totally if in your position. That said, I should add that I have problems with all the people coming here for free health care too. People come from Mexico to have children here to be covered by US care at taxpayer expense and to the detriment of other citizens. I don't think that's right. Our state has a more lenient welfare system than many others and we get busloads of people who come in for a weekend to make claims, collect payments and go home. I don't mind helping out, but I don't like being taken advantage of.

The problem of course is the laws of our respective countries and states/provinces. Just like the US is too stupid to tax actors who make millions and have their residency elsewhere, including Canada ;) (Dan Akroyd, Michael J. Fox, Adam Sandler, etc) and pay no taxes here. I don't think that's right either. But we have a dyslexic dimwit in the, well, I won't get into politics, not appropriate. But I do think you are justifiably concerned about it and I for one, share your dissatisfaction, and you needn't be sorry for feeling that way.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Hi McPeg,

My understanding is that as the government-connected health system buys a lot of drugs from the companies for their use, they have negotiated a lower price for the drugs, and that price is what is charged throughout the general system, including for those who pay for their own.

ole joyful


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Thanks Ole Joyful
'the government-connected health system' is still funded by my tax dollars. The negotiation is done with my tax dollars on my behalf as a Canadian. So if, let's say, US residents buy our medications and use our doctors - we lose medical appointment spaces and our stock of medication to the US.
Still don't like this at all. And I am sure the US would not like us using up their stock either.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Most of the people in my area have stopped going to Canada due to the many new drug plans avaiable here in the US. Yes, I was one of those did go to Canada to get my flu shot when there was a shortage that one year, but where I went the Canadians did come first, did not have to stand in line and did not have to pay. We stood in line and paid, but had a wonderful shopping trip, and met so many nice people.
At one time the pharmacies in Canada would only take prescrliptions from Canadian Dr's and only after they had proof they had been to that Dr.
But now, I don't think anyone here is going North, South to Mexico, but not north.
But then I would trust the Canadians much more than our southern neighbors.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

IT is still illegal for a US citizen to purchase a prescription medication out of country and bring it back to the US. It is a federal offense and is punishable, however good luck finding anyone actually prosecuted for this.

Its only a matter of time before Canadian citizens put a stop to it, as described about (they are taxed for their care, but we are not taxed for the same medicine since we are US citizens). My suggestion: get more active at stopping direct to consumer advertising for prescription meds, which drug companies spend billions of dollars on, which in turn drives our prices up to compensate. Write your senators. (www.stopdrugads.org)

I firmly believe the ads on TV are leading to over medicating the US (this coming from a Pharmacist at that!). Heartburn? Ask your doctor we can fix that. Restless legs? Ask your doctor, we can fix that. Headaches? Allergy? Nail fungus. I realize it is a starting point for talking with your practitioners about your ailments, but walking in and asking in the context of a medication almost always ends in a prescription to make the patient happy- whether its appropriate or not.


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Hi pharmer 25,

Some of my acquaintances can be something of a pain in the butt at times.

Do you have medication for that ... for them? Or would it be for me?

If we put a pill into our mouth for a pain in the head ... what would be the procedure for a pain in the other end?

I've heard that some consider me sort of along the same lines, also. Maybe there should be some meds for both of us.

Funny, isn't it, how we find it so difficult to self-evaluate reasonably objectively?

Have the drug companies figured a crutch that can help with that, that you've heard of?

They have something for almost everything else.

Hope you're having a great week.

ole joyful


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RE: Update on U.S. residents wanting prescriptions filled in Cana

Maybe some info here that some may find useful but hadn't seen it before.

ole joyful


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