When U.S. residents search for Canadian online pharmacies, they will find hundreds of websites that initially, but incorrectly, appear to sell U.S. residents drugs supplied by licensed pharmacies located in Canada. Additionally, there are many more websites that claim to have some nexus to Canada – slap a maple leaf on a website – to dupe U.S. consumers. These sites have no real connection to Canada at all – they do not work with a pharmacy or pharmacist licensed by a Canadian province and do not have physical presence in Canada. Like the other “Canadian online pharmacy” websites described above, these sites also do not source drugs that are approved by Health Canada.
Congress is set to consider new legislation that would legalize importation of prescription medicines from foreign countries outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Such a policy would put Americans at increased risk of receiving counterfeit or otherwise unsafe medications, including controlled substances offered by illegal foreign online pharmacies without a prescription, contributing to the opioid epidemic in the U.S.