Meds From Abroad

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 11:50am

Florida pharmacy imports low-cost drugs from Canada and Germany.

The push to get lower cost prescription medications is often top priority for cash-strapped seniors.

Now a store in Florida is boasting 80% savings on prescription drugs, hooking clients up with medications from countries like Canada and Germany.

Customers bring in a doctor's prescription into "The Canadian Drugstore".

A consultant helps them locate the lowest cost international provider on-line, and then has the drugs shipped directly to the client's home.

John Crowley has been a customer of The Canadian Drugstore for five years.

"I would say that in the course of a year I probably save $2,000 somewhere in there," he says.

He knows there are seniors in particular who would be leery about buying drugs from outside the United States, but he's not one of them.

Canadian Drugstore owner Bill Hepscher says customers can feel confident.

"Our drugs come from actually 16 different pharmacies throughout the world. The main countries that we source our medications from are Germany, England, Canada and New Zealand. These are all countries that have the same regulations as our FDA," he says.

The National Association of Boards Of Pharmacy, which helps create regulations to promote public health, disputes that.

The organizations executive director put it bluntly, saying customers are "playing Russian roulette with their medications by buying from outside the U-S."

Carmen Catizone went on to say "I wouldn't let my parents use one of those store fronts."

That's not enough to worry clients like Michelle Dodge, who's cut the cost of a three month supply of Advair by more than half.

"I just know that I'm saving, and that's the most important thing to me these days is the savings," she says.

The Food and Drug Administration has also weighed in on the issue of purchasing drugs from international sources.

The FDA says it cannot guarantee the safety of those medications.

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