What is COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is the infectious disease that was first identified following a viral outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.  COVID-19 is a Coronavirus, a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person

  • through respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze;
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Is there any risk of contracting COVID-19 from packages sent to me?

Official sources in North America agree that spread of the virus is likely very low risk from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient (normal) temperatures.  Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. According to the U.S. CDC, there is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. associated with imported goods. Learn more from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Are there things I can do to keep myself safe.

According to the Canadian Pharmacists Association:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer may be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or arm. Do not cough or sneeze into your hand.
  • Stay home if you are sick, especially if you are coughing, sneezing or have a fever.
  • Stay away from hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot. The flu virus is still circulating in the community.
  • Monitor yourself for fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you believe you have symptoms of the coronavirus, isolate yourself from others a quickly as possible and call a health care professional or public health authority.

Should I buy a face mask to protect me from contracting COVID-19?

The Canadian Pharmacists Association has stated:

  • Face masks bought in pharmacies and retail locations do not provide total protection against airborne viruses like COVID-19, and most people use them incorrectly, reducing their effectiveness even further.
  • Face masks are not recommended to be used by the general population in an attempt to prevent COVID-19. Masks can be helpful if worn by people who are sick, but once used a mask should be discarded immediately.
  • There is no known risk of coronaviruses entering Canada on parcels or packages coming from affected regions.

What is CIPA?

CIPA is a Canadian association of licensed, retail pharmacies. We sell safe and affordable prescription drugs made by the leading name-brand manufacturers at prices up to 80 percent less than U.S. pharmacies. CIPA member pharmacies have served more than 10 million patients since the organization’s founding in 2002, with a 100% perfect safety record. This makes CIPA an immediate and credible part of the solution to exorbitantly high drug prices in the U.S.

Are all medications shipped from Canada?

CIPA members sell Health Canada-approved medications from their licensed pharmacies in Canada. In addition, CIPA members have relationships with regulated international pharmacies and inspected fulfillment centers based in other parts of the world that sell and directly deliver medications to patients from where they are located. Patients make the choice from where their medications will be delivered, and this is confirmed with them at time of purchase.

Should I buy from a website that is not CIPA certified?

CIPA certification assures you that the pharmacy provider is licensed, reputable and adheres to stringent safety protocols. CIPA member pharmacies:

  • require valid and signed prescriptions, typically for 30 to 90-day supplies of drugs and health maintenance medications;
  • obtain demographic and medical information from the patient and maintain a health profile with medication history to avoid adverse drug interactions;
  • have a licensed pharmacist on staff for patient consultation;
  • do not sell controlled substances; and
  • ensure patient privacy by following the same stringent confidentiality and safety procedures as U.S. pharmacies.

Additionally, CIPA members do not send any unsolicited email (SPAM) or sell addresses to others. For your safety and privacy, we recommend dealing only with sites displaying the CIPA seal.

How can I make sure a website is CIPA certified?

CIPA certified websites display the CIPA seal as displayed below. Since this seal has become so respected for trustworthiness and integrity, some websites have copied the seal and placed it on their sites. These sites are masquerading as CIPA members but they are not. Always cross-check the CIPA.com website to ensure that a site selling medications is truly a CIPA member. To verify a member, click here.

Does the CIPA office sell medications?

CIPA is an association of pharmacies, and is not a pharmacy or wholesaler itself. The CIPA office does not stock, supply or distribute any pharmaceutical products. This is done by individual CIPA member pharmacies which are listed on our website.

Please contact a member pharmacy displaying the CIPA seal and that is verified at our website to answer any questions and have your prescription filled.

How can I find out how much it will cost to order my medication from a CIPA member?

Please visit any of the CIPA member websites on our Certified Safe Online Pharmacies list.  Each one has a search tool to allow you to type in the name of your medication and see what options you have for ordering.

I want to avoid going to the doctor to get a prescription.  Can I order from a CIPA member?

CIPA member pharmacies require a valid prescription from your physician for any medications that are sold as a prescription drug where you live.

 

I know the U.S. charges too much for my medication, but some of the prices I see at CIPA member websites are too good to be true.  How can that be?

CIPA members sell Health-Canada approved medications from their pharmacies in Canada, and have relationships with licensed international pharmacies to offer the same safety and even greater savings.  Most countries outside of the U.S. have mechanisms in place to ensure that drugs are not priced excessively.  In Canada, it’s the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB).

 

How can I trust that CIPA member pharmacies are what they say they are?

CIPA Members must meet strict Standards of Practice to qualify for membership. Once becoming a member, CIPA members are monitored and their facilities inspected to ensure ongoing compliance with all Standards and policies.

 

Do you have a ranking of CIPA member pharmacies?  Are some better than others? I need it to be safe AND affordable.

All CIPA members adhere to the strict safety and privacy standards established by the Association.  As a result, you will receive the same quality of product and professionalism regardless of which CIPA member website you choose.

An industry association such as CIPA is mandated to represent its members.  How can I trust that it represents my interests as a patient?

While CIPA members pay a fee for the right to carry the CIPA Seal, not all online pharmacies qualify for membership, nor would all online pharmacies choose to adhere to the strict standards required of CIPA members.  CIPA members are subject to ongoing monitoring and inspection of their practices and dispensing facilities and are subject to disciplinary action should they not comply with all practices and policies. Learn more about avoiding rogue websites here.

What do I do if I have a complaint about a CIPA member?

The CIPA office represents the interests and reputation of the Association, and this includes making sure that each patient receives excellent service from its CIPA member pharmacy. As a result, if there is ever a concern about your experience with one of our members, we urge you to contact us.