-- ASOP Survey Finds Increasing Number of Americans Ordering Pharmaceuticals Online And Need to Understand Inherent Risk of Illegitimate Pharmacies, Including Those Posing as Canadian --
The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) today supported key findings of a new national survey conducted by the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) about Americans purchasing medications online.
Specifically, the survey found that more than one-third of Americans (35%) have now used an online pharmacy to purchase medication, up from 23% in 2013. In 2020, 16% of Americans report increasing their use of online pharmacies. Of those who have bought prescription medication online, 31% did so for the first time in 2020 because of the pandemic and 72% indicate that they plan to do so again in the future, according to the ASOP Global news release. The release refers to the "digitalization of consumerism, including the use of online pharmacies."
"These findings are consistent with CIPA members’ continued experience with new and existing customers, many of whom are senior citizens taking multiple daily medications for chronic conditions, and are now housebound due to COVID-19," according to CIPA Executive Director Tim Smith.
CIPA member pharmacies sell 90-day supplies of maintenance medications – taken daily for chronic health conditions – for personal use. CIPA pharmacies, which are licensed in their jurisdiction of operation, do not sell opioids, other controlled substances, or highly temperature-sensitive medications, and do not sell in bulk to medical practitioners or healthcare facilities.
Additionally, CIPA pharmacies require the patient to have a written prescription from their doctor, and have licensed pharmacists on site to review all orders and be available for patient consultations.
Most importantly, CIPA member pharmacies have a 100% perfect safety record, serving millions of customers since 2002 and selling pharmaceuticals at up to 80% less than in the U.S.
The ASOP Global survey also highlighted risks associated with illegitimate or unsafe online pharmacies, including those posing as "safe" Canadian pharmacies. CIPA agrees with this assessment and works with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a collaboration of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to identify and close rogue pharmacies illegally using the CIPA seal, which designates pharmacies meeting the strict safety and privacy requirements for membership in the Association.
"Consumers need to be aware that there are many ‘rogue’ actors selling questionable medications without having licensed pharmacies, trained pharmacists, or requiring patients to submit a doctor’s prescription," Smith explained. In fact, CIPA has a "Beware of Rogues" section on its website to help educate U.S. customers, and a "Verify a Website" page to assist with identifying legitimate CIPA pharmacies.
"We support ASOP Global’s call for educating consumers and healthcare professionals about how to buy medications online safely. In fact, many of our customers come to us directly from referrals from their healthcare provider, who recognize CIPA’s legitimacy and safety protocols." Such referral was another factor identified by the survey.
"We welcome cooperation from likeminded groups who share CIPA’s dedication to safety, as evidenced by our perfect safety record for almost 20 years. Our longstanding mission is to provide affordable medications to American consumers being crushed by the high cost of pharmaceuticals in the U.S.," Smith concluded.
The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) is an association of licensed retail pharmacies that sell pharmaceuticals and maintenance medications (but not controlled substances) in 90-day quantities for personal use to individuals in both Canadian and the U.S. from pharmacies in Canada. In addition, CIPA members have business relationships with licensed international pharmacies and government-approved dispensing facilities that ship medications directly to patients from their premises. CIPA member pharmacies provide the same quality controls and convenience of U.S. mail-order services, allowing consumers to maintain their health with brand-name pharmaceuticals delivered right to their home. Our member pharmacies have maintained a 100% perfect safety record, while serving more than 15 million U.S. patients since CIPA was established in 2002. CIPA can be found online at www.cipa.com.
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