CIPA survey of Americans finds 64% purchase medications from Canada due to affordability

June 2, 2015

High Cost of Medications in U.S. Forces Americans to Skip Doses, Split Pills, and Restrict Use of Medications Altogether; - Ordering from Canada Saves an Average of 50%

In a new survey of approximately 2,700 American customers, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) found continued demand for safely ordering prescription medications online from licensed Canadian pharmacies. Approximately 64% of respondents purchase some or all of their health maintenance medications from a non-U.S. pharmacy due to costs of filling the prescriptions. Another 22% said medications are not covered under their insurance plan.

Many news reports and independent studies have documented the issue of dramatically rising medication prices and challenges Americans experience in affording their prescriptions. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents underscored this issue by acknowledging that lack of money has kept someone in their household from filling prescriptions during the last year. Approximately 30% reported having to skip doses, split pills, or take similar actions to restrict their use of prescribed medications because of high costs.

Customers reported spending $250 per month per prescription on average to order a 90-day supply of prescription medications for personal use, and saving approximately $246 (or 50 percent) per month by importing their medications from Canadian pharmacies.

Not only do Americans save money from purchasing prescriptions from Canada, they predict serious health consequences without this option. Approximately 32% say they would only be able to fill some medications. Another 11% would not be able to purchase any of their medications. Previous reports have highlighted the issue of patients going off medications or rationing and the resulting harm to health along with the costs to the health care system. Further, since many who import their medications from Canada are seniors on Medicare, non-adherence and the resulting health implications and costs are a burden to the American taxpayer.

A majority of respondents (86%) reported their age as 55 years or older. Additionally, 57% say their health insurance is self-funded and that they must fully cover the costs of their medications.

CIPA is an association of licensed retail pharmacies that sell 90-day supplies of pharmaceuticals and maintenance medications (but not controlled substances) to both Canadians and Americans with a valid prescription. CIPA member pharmacies provide a safe and reliable option for ordering health maintenance medications online, and members in good standing display the CIPA verification seal on their website.

Since establishing the association in 2002, CIPA pharmacies have served more than 10 million U.S. patients and maintained a 100 percent perfect safety record. The CIPA verification seal demonstrates the pharmacy follows a number of best practices, including: requiring a valid prescription for each order (which is verified with the patient's physician); quality controls; transparency about the pharmacy with contact information listed on their websites; and maintenance of patient privacy and confidentiality.

"Importing prescriptions from safe international pharmacies is the only choice many Americans have to afford their prescribed medications," said CIPA general manager Tim Smith. "CIPA member pharmacies provide a safe alternative for Americans on fixed-incomes to take their maintenance medications to manage their health."

Consumers can visit the CIPA website ( to learn more about the association, ordering medications safely online, and how to verify whether an online pharmacy is truly a CIPA member.


View More

Unite Interactive