While retail e-commerce sales worldwide are continuously growing, not all product categories enjoy equal popularity on the World Wide Web. Most people are buying books online without giving it a second thought, however, there are still different opinions about the safety of online pharmacies. Some users claim buying their medications on the Internet smoothly and hassle-free, while others recommend avoiding Internet-based drug stores for fear of poor-quality products that could pose health risks. Both points of view with their respective arguments are easy to understand:
- Online shopping is time-saving and money-saving since it’s easy to locate best offers on the web. Still, it is subject to competition principles, meaning that sellers can hold their market positions only by offering quality products.
- The sale of pharmaceutical products is strictly regulated to ensure safety; there are more possibilities to bypass the high quality requirements when trading through web.
However, there is a solution to save money on medication and get drugs which are also safe for your health: to use only time-tested on-line pharmacies that can ensure professional approach and hassle-free experience.
I made a review of My Canadian Pharmacy, henceforth also referred as MCP, with several reasons in mind: to explore the perks of buying drugs online, its safety and overall convenience of MCP, which has a relatively wide selection of drugs. The review is based on my assessment of a number of important parameters, which I made relying on the provided information and my own observation.
About Company Profile
My Canadian Pharmacy as online service was founded in 2003, after the global economic crisis hit developed countries, and it became more difficult for people to afford the necessary medications.
This online store mainly sells generic drugs, which are reproduced drugs containing a chemical – an active pharmaceutical substance – identical to the one previously invented and patented by another company. Generics are sold after the patent expiration, under an international non-proprietary name or under a patented name, different from the original manufacturer’s name of the drug.
To provide drugs which are more affordable, company is monitoring the market to find best deals, working directly with manufacturers and avoiding third-party facilitators. MCP offers highly attractive prices, a wide choice of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, promotions, discounts, and international delivery. Additionally, you can subscribe to receive notifications on shop’s updates and discounts.
Product Range and Prices
The pharmacy focuses on men’s health (primary ED pills) but also offers products from most common drug categories. There are some original and generic versions of widely-used drugs, from painkillers and antibiotics to diabetic medication and skin care products. Altogether, the user can navigate through more than 30 drug categories. In particular, the assortment includes around 70 products for erectile dysfunction treatment and around 30 products for women’s health.
Most of the products are generic drugs, though there are a number of brand-name pills such as Viagra and Cialis. By selling generics the store meets its main purpose of providing buyers with necessary drugs at affordable prices, which are 2-5 times lower than in traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Generics are commonly produced in India and China, however, buyers should be aware that active pharmaceutical agents of many drugs sold in Canada and US are imported from India and China because it is cheaper to produce them abroad.
How do online pharmacies manage to offer prices which are that low? My Canadian Pharmacy works directly with the manufacturers and is able to reduce prices by avoiding intermediaries and high marketing expenses. Quality control and certification of generics is carried out by FDA-like agencies located in the country of their origin.
Current Shipping Options
Current shipping options are always listed on the website and checkout page and can change over time. At the time of writing the review, My Canadian Pharmacy offered ordinary airmail delivery ($10) and express courier delivery ($30), which is now available only for the US. Ordinary delivery takes up to 3 weeks and shipping time depends on the destination. Express courier delivery is faster and has some additional features like tracking, changing the delivery schedule, etc.
The company delivers drugs to most of the world’s countries. Orders exceeding $150 will be shipped Airmail free of charge. US-based consumers will receive a free express delivery if their order exceeds $300. To protect buyer’s privacy, all orders, according to the website, are shipped in a discreet package with a minimum amount of information about the product, i.e. no one except the intended receiver will know what is in the box.
Team of My Canadian Pharmacy
When choosing your online pharmacy, it is important to do some research on the professional team who works behind the scene. The team should include certified pharmacists or other medical personnel qualified to fill and refill prescriptions. In the case of MCP, information about pharmacists, managers and other team members can be found on the website. Pharmacists control the drugs’ safety, checking their compliance with safety protocols and quality standards.
How Much Can You Save
Without questioning the effectiveness of Viagra, proven by many studies conducted over the past 20 years, many consumers are disappointed with high prices, which can reach $30 per pill.
In fact, companies that hold patents for particular pharma drugs can raise retail prices very high when being the only manufacturer of a highly demanded product. However, patents have a limited validity term, which also varies in different countries. When a patent expires, other manufacturers get the right to produce generic drugs, which contain the same active pharmaceutical agent. It should be borne in mind that generics also undergo the necessary checks and tests before landing on the market, so they are safe to the same extent as the original drug is.
The average price for one 50 mg pill of brand Viagra varies from 15 to 30 dollars depending on the country, while My Canadian Pharmacy offers $2.5 per pill when buying 10 pills, which is at least 4 times cheaper. Further, the price gradually decreases when the amount of ordered pills increases, up to 60 cents per pill when buying 350 at a time. Apparently, not many customers would like to buy 350 pills of Viagra or other meds at a time, however, there is a significant discount even with a slight increase of order amount. Same applies for any category of products found on website.
Payment and Personal Data Safety
At the time of writing, paying options included credit card (Visa and MasterCard) and e-check (only for US customers). As paying options are subject to change, you can check if more convenient solutions became available at the time of your order. According to the information on the site, the latest digital tools are used to protect user information from unauthorized interception. My Canadian Pharmacy website uses 256-bit security encryption to ensure secure transactions. It is stated that personal information, including bank card numbers, is used only for the purposes specified in the user agreement published on the site.
Website Technical Specifications
Technical characteristics of the website such as loading speed and optimization, although not affecting quality of the products, provide overall comfort when shopping online or contacting customer support. Free comprehensive site analysis is available through a variety of services like nibbler.silktide.com. The test showed good page loading speed (an average of 4 seconds, faster than 36% of other websites). Additionally, the website scored 10 points for being fully optimized for mobile devices, 9.1 points for estimated user satisfaction, and 9.3 points for design and performance. The site also received 10 points for frequent updates, that is, the information is always up-to-date. When performing test orders, I found that the site has intuitive navigation, a user-friendly ordering process and payment which is easy to complete. Operations were performed fast and smoothly while no errors occurred during the test.
Customer Reviews and Complaints
Customer reviews literally became the main tools in determining the store’s reliability and expected product quality. In general, users describe their shopping experience with My Canadian Pharmacy as positive and indicate a good product quality, which is comparable to the quality of equivalent brand-name drugs. Most buyers emphasize how the pharmacy helped them to reduce their medical expenses. However, some customers were not satisfied with the shipping times and would liked to receive their orders faster:
The company offers huge discounts for those who buy larger amounts of ED pills like Viagra, Cialis, Priligy and their generic counterparts. As it was mentioned before, the price for most drugs will drop significantly when your order amount increases. In addition:
- 4 bonus pills of choice are added to each ED order;
- Free shipping insurance applies for orders exceeding $200;
- Information on other discounts, coupons and seasonal offers can be found on the home page or received via email in case you have subscribed to the news letter.
Medical Advice and Customer Support
My Canadian Pharmacy currently offers two types of customer support: medical consultation and support for general questions about the website, products, purchases, delivery, etc. Customer support is provided through email, live chat and customer support hot line.
It should be noted that medical consultations via web chat or telephone conversation are not intended as a replacement for visiting your physician. Before starting your treatment, I highly recommend each patient to make an appointment with a local doctor to check whether you can safely take certain medications. Any valid drug has a list of contraindications and may produce side effects, especially if managed incorrectly. Only a face-to-face consultation with a qualified medical worker is likely to suggest an appropriate treatment and determine suitable drug dosages.
After analyzing the main features of My Canadian Pharmacy, referring to the provided information and my own observations and experience, I came to the conclusion that MCP is a reliable online pharmacy to buy generics and brand-name drugs.
In my assessment, most important factors were safety, professionalism, a wide range of medications and decent customer support. I also examined factors affecting the buying process, such as communication, ease of payment and delivery speed. Other features which influence general shopping experience included reviews, site navigation, page loading speed and personal data protection.
My evaluation of these items ranged from good to excellent, therefore, I can recommend My Canadian Pharmacy for buying medications, provided that a customer had a prior face-to-face consultation with a physician.
The review by Sevda Ghader, MD