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Why do Americans Prefer to Buy insulin in Canada?

Why do Americans Prefer to Buy insulin in Canada?

by Owen Clarke 8 Sep 2021

Unfortunately, the statistics of people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 1 or type 2 leaves much to be desired with the daily increasing number. It means that thousands of people in the USA of different age categories are in constant need of insulin preparations to control their blood sugar levels.

The truth is that once diagnosed with diabetes, you should take insulin once or more times a day since till the end of your days since there is no cure for this disease.

It would not sound that sad if the pharmacies offered more affordable insulin prices. Many patients complain the prices are too high, and they spend most of their budget on the lifesaving drugs.

That is why many Americans sooner or later come across the information that buying insulin from Canadian pharmacies is cheaper and more beneficial. Let us consider all peculiarities of ordering insulin online from Canada.

Why Americans Buy Insulin from Canada?

More and more of the citizens of the USA prefer buying insulin medications from abroad, particularly from Canada and not from local pharmaceutical companies. What might be the reason? It is as banal and simple as it is – cheaper insulin as well as other pharmaceuticals.

The ridiculous thing is that even drugs manufactured in the USA are cheaper in Canada than they are on the local market. And the difference in price is not just a few dollars. In separate cases, the price gap may reach 80%, and it is significant when you depend on the drug every day.

Why Americans Buy Insulin from Canada?
Moreover, modern shipping companies are delivering parcels within a few days, the delivery time from abroad may not even exceed the expectation time inside the country, so it is really convenient and reasonable to order insulin in Canada than local pharmacy. In any case, you do not lose anything.

Why are Insulin Cheaper in Canada than in the US?

So, why is the price discrepancy for pharmaceuticals in the United States and Canada so tangible that Americans are literally forced to order insulin for personal use from other countries? Luckily for the Canadians, they have got The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board that fixates the cost for all patented medicine sold, ensuring it is affordable for the citizens of Canada.

Of course, this rule does not cover the retailers and generic drugs, distributors.

Nevertheless, The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board assures the costs for drugs in Canada are affordable for the vast majority.

Unlike Canada, the United States has no regulations for the pharmaceutical market, and American drug companies are freer in their pricing system, offering any price that may just come into their mind. This expression is figurative, but sometimes it is the only logical explanation of so many prices for the pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately.

For example, here is a table comparing insulin prices in the US and Canada.

Comparing insulin prices in the US and Canada
Comparing insulin prices in the US and Canada

Is it Legal to Order Insulin in Canada?

This question is quite controversial. I may surprise you, but it is technically illegal to order insulin in Canada. So, how do thousands of Americans order their medications from Canada? Do they break the law? And how do all these parcels cross the American border patrol?

Well, the thing is that the American Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) prohibits US citizens from ordering drugs from abroad, specifically from Canada, with the aim to regulate the imported drugs.

Many regard this law disingenuous as the preparations manufactured in Canada are sold in both countries, and the level of checkup the drugs in terms of safety is on the decent level in Canada.

Nevertheless, the regulation does not prohibit Canadian pharmacies import drugs to individuals in the USA for personal use. From the side of Canadian law, the bargain is completely legal.

Actually, both Canadian pharmacies and American diabetics benefit from this situation since the first one expand their market and get more customers, while the second get a more attractive and reasonable cost of insulin. Luckily for both sides, American customs officers are loyal to shipments of prescription medicine from the Canadian border to individuals.

How to Buy Insulin in Canada Safely?

So, although ordering online from Canada is illegal, the law has its loopholes that allow Americans to save money when buying insulin without any problems with the legislation.

So, first of all, if you’ve decided you do not want to buy insulin at high prices from local pharmacies, you should remember that you can order it from Canada but just as an individual. It will limit the amount of insulin you can buy at one time. Most of the pharmacies allow buying just 3 month’s supply of insulin indicated in the prescription.

Another point to remember is that insulin is a prescription medication, and this rule applies to the US and Canada, online and offline distributors. Insulin cannot be sold to individuals without a valid prescription from the doctor. So, when checking various online stores and pharmacies online, pay attention to whether the site requires a prescription, if not, there are high chances it may be a fraud.

Many companies will ask you to register and indicate your real name, phone number, and address. The next step will be providing a valid prescription, which will undergo manual verification by the managers of the website. Such procedure is proof that the pharmacy works in correspondence with the legislation and takes care of its reputation. Thus, they will not sell you fakes or poor-quality medication.

Following these simple recommendations will secure you from online fraud and troubles with the American legislation and health care system.

If you hesitate to buy insulin online in the USA or Canada, have a look at the comparison chart of HumalogNovorapid (Novolog), and Lantus – one of the most in-demand diabetes medications.

To Sum Up

Buy Insulin in Canada
Unfortunately, modern realities for Americans are not that positive as the price for many pharmaceuticals is too high and sometimes even not affordable for an ordinary citizen. The situation is especially unpromising for those who are in constant need of a drug every day like diabetics.

Without support from the government, not all can afford to buy expensive American insulin. And while the FDA prohibits ordering pharmaceuticals from abroad, explaining their limitations by the need to control the imports, there arises a question why they do not monitor the cost inside the local market, and every pharmacy has its own pricing policy. In the conditions like that, there is nothing left for the Americans diagnosed with diabetes and other diseases except for ordering drugs from other countries, including our closest neighbor Canada.

If the situation does not change in the nearest future, the local pharmaceutical market will continuously lose a great part of customers. Maybe this will turn the attention of the US government to the problem of pricing for medicine in the country.