Cost, safety main reasons for personal prescription imports from Canada

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WASHINGTON — The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) today released survey results highlighting the reasons Americans continue to purchase their personal prescriptions from licensed and legitimate online pharmacies in Canada, safely, at considerable cost savings, and often at the recommendation of a healthcare provider.

The majority of respondents – 94% – cited cost as the main reason they order their medications from licensed, legitimate online pharmacies, which is an increase from last year’s survey in which 79% of respondents cited cost as the main reason. In addition, 97% of survey respondents would recommend ordering prescription medications from an online pharmacy in Canada to their friends and family members.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) have been ordering their medications from Canada for more than four years.

“This survey shows the realities of personal prescription importation as a viable option for accessing medications safely and at considerable savings, which is essential for many Americans who struggle with skyrocketing drug prices,” said Tracy Cooley, executive director of the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation.

This year’s survey also showed an increase in the percentage of people who are hearing about online pharmacies from their healthcare provider or pharmacist – 39% of survey respondents indicated that a healthcare provider or pharmacist told them about online pharmacies compared to 26% in last year’s survey.

“The high cost of prescription drugs has created a health and economic crisis in this country. Personal prescription importation gives Americans a lifeline for affording safe medications and many healthcare providers and pharmacists support importation as a viable option for their patients,” said Cooley.

CPPI conducted this online survey between September 3, 2018 and November 12, 2018. Based on the universe of followers of CPPI, this sample of 1,354 responses represents findings with a standard sampling error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Below are highlighted findings from our national survey:

  • Primary Reason is Cost: The majority of respondents (94%) – cite cost as the reason that they order their medications from an online pharmacy in Canada. Other reasons cited include consistency in pricing (9%); convenience (7%); consistency in availability (6%); and lack of availability in the U.S. (4%).
  • Spending through Ordering Online: Nearly half of respondents (48%) spend less than $99 per month ordering personal prescriptions from licensed online pharmacies in Canada. Thirty percent of respondents spend between $100$199 and 12 percent spend between $200$299. Among people who reported spending more than $300, the average amount they reported spending is $493 per month.
  • Savings through Ordering Online: We also asked survey respondents to compare what they would spend on their prescriptions in the U.S. to what they pay by purchasing them through a licensed online pharmacy in Canada. More than half of respondents (52%) report saving up to $199 each month by ordering through an online pharmacy. Among people who save more than $300 per month (38% of respondents), the average savings that they report is $910.
  • Insurance Coverage: Despite having Medicare or other insurance coverage, many Americans still purchase safe and affordable prescription drugs from Canada. More than half of respondents (67%) report having Medicare. Sixteen percent report that their employer provides insurance coverage, nine percent do not have insurance, and eight percent are self-insured.
  • Years of Ordering Online: More than half of respondents (52%) report ordering their prescription medications from an online pharmacy for less than three years. Thirty-one percent have been using online pharmacies for between four and seven years, and 17% of respondents have been ordering for more than eight years.
  • Recommendations to Family and Friends: Overwhelmingly, survey respondents (97%) would recommend ordering prescription medications from an online pharmacy in Canada to their family and friends. More than half of respondents (55%) know someone already who has ordered their medications from Canada.
  • Initial Awareness of Ordering Online: Sixty-one percent of people surveyed heard about online pharmacies from friends or family members. Thirty-nine percent of respondents learned about online pharmacies from either a healthcare provider or pharmacist. [Note: This is up compared to last year’s survey in which 26% of respondents cited learning about online pharmacies from a healthcare provider or pharmacist.]
  • Choosing an Online Pharmacy: More than 40% of people surveyed looked for a verified, certified site when deciding which online pharmacy to use. Twenty-eight percent of people surveyed use an online pharmacy that was recommended by a friend or family member. Twenty-nine percent of people selected a site based on ease of use or best price.
  • Knowledge of Rogue Pharmacies: The majority of respondents (88%) can properly identify the attributes of a rogue website that sells counterfeit medications, which includes pharmacies that do not require a valid prescription, do not have a licensed pharmacist on staff, do not protect personal and medical information, and pharmacies that sell controlled substances.

Importing prescription medications from safe, verified pharmacies in Canada provides a lifeline to those in need of affordable life-saving and health maintenance medications.

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