The cost of brand name drugs has skyrocketed in the U.S. Many people are finding it hard to afford their medicines. That’s especially true if the copay is very high or if an insurance program does not cover a particular drug. As a result, many people are looking for less expensive versions of their brand name medicines from a legitimate Canadian pharmacy. Emphasis on the word legitimate! That’s because the FDA warns that there are many rogue online pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs. The agency states that “These rogue sites often prominently display a Canadian flag, but may actually be operated by criminals from the other side of the globe with no connection to Canada. Medicines bought from these websites can be dangerous and may put your health at risk.” This reader wants to know how to find a reliable website:

Eliquis Is Pricey in the U.S. but Affordable in Canada:

Q. Do you have the name of a legitimate Canadian pharmacy? I am taking Eliquis 5 mg twice a day for my Afib. It is free for the first month, but it will cost me more than $400 per month after that.

I found that it is about $162 per month from an online Canadian pharmacy. I don’t know if this is safe.

A. Apixaban (Eliquis) is an anticlotting drug that people with atrial fibrillation (Afib) take to prevent blood clots from forming. Such clots could travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

This drug is currently only available as a brand name. You are right that the cost could run well over $400 a month if your insurance doesn’t pay. A legitimate Canadian pharmacy could charge less than half that much.

Trust but Verify!

You are right to be cautious. There are unscrupulous online pharmacies that masquerade as Canadian drug stores. In our electronic resource, Saving Money on Medicines, we describe how you can verify which are authentic. Here are some tips from that eGuide:

  1. Look for the provincial pharmacy license number on the website. If it’s not there, but suspicious.
  2. Contact the provincial pharmacy board to confirm the license is legit.
  3. Make sure there is a physical address in Canada.
  4. Go to the CIPA (Canadian International Pharmacy Association) website (www.cipa.com) certification list. Here is a link.
  5. Visit PharmacyChecker.com for a list of verified online Canadian pharmacies.

Free Medicine?

There is far more information about strategies for saving money on medicine in our eGuide. For example, did you know that you might qualify for free or low-cost medicine?

Joan in Seattle, Washington wrote to share this:

“ELIQUIS has a discount program my husband used. It was only $10 a month. It’s on their website. We only found out about it from the primary care doctor not the ER doctor. You have to have insurance to be eligible, which is counterintuitive but once the card is active at the pharmacy, it works every month. It’s great. Hope this helps your reader who could not afford Eliquis.”

We cannot vouch for the discount program this reader mentions. There may be barriers to access such as income level or insurance coverage. Here is the website the pharmaceutical industry has established to provide access to crucial medications. This is generally reserved for folks who do not have insurance and who pass certain financial hurdles. It’s worth investigating.

Learn More:

To learn more about how to find a legitimate Canadian Pharmacy, we provide URLs and phone numbers in the eGuide to Saving Money on Medicine. If you worry about the quality of generic drugs you will also learn about authorized generics. Such drugs are a way to reduce the risks of getting questionable quality when forced to buy generic. And if you want to learn more about Eliquis side effects, here is a ink to New Eliquis (Apixaban) Alert: Unexpected Side Effect

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Related People's Pharmacy Health Guide

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