How to find an online pharmacy you can trust

Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation > Understand the Issue > How to find an online pharmacy you can trust

When deciding to purchase your medications from an online pharmacy website in Canada, it’s important that you verify the legitimacy of the pharmacy to ensure that you are ordering from a licensed pharmacy that sells authentic medications that are approved by the health authority where the pharmacy is located.

CPPI recommends you only purchase from websites that are approved by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association or  Both organizations have a long history of oversight of online pharmacy businesses, conduct periodic inspections of all dispensing facilities and have robust safety and privacy protocols to ensure patient safety.

When you order medication from a website accredited by one of these organizations, you can be assured of the following:

  • Require a valid prescription before dispensing medications that require a prescription where the patient lives;
  • 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 to supervise dispensing of medications and to be available for consultation upon patient request;
  • Have procedures to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality of personal records and contact information;
  • Do not sell controlled substances, narcotics, pseudoephedrine products, or highly temperature sensitive products including Botox, Insulin, Victoza, Saxenda;
  • Meets website security requirements;
  • Publishes contact information on website for customer service;
  • Quantities marketed on website restricted to approximately a 3-months’ supply at a time, generally; and
  • Disclosure of pharmacy location to consumer prior to purchase

We also recommend that you verify the accreditation of a website by visiting the Canadian International Pharmacy Association or PharmacyChecker because only websites listed there will have authorization to carry the certification marks of the organizations. This step will save you from engaging with a fraudulent online pharmacy website that may not require a prescription, may sell dangerous and counterfeit drugs, and may not protect your personal and financial information.

For all the online destinations for prescription medications there is a relatively short list of online pharmacies that are accredited by one of these organizations. We recommend you visit their websites for more information.

For more information on the Food and Drug Administration’s position on importation, please visit this link.