Nevada residents can have prescriptions filled and import drugs and medications from certain pharmacies in Canada licensed by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy. With prescription drug costs in the U.S. virtually the highest in the world, this Canadian Pharmacy Program helps Nevadans save money on their medications.
What is the Canadian Pharmacy Program?
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill authorizing the creation of an informational website and the licensure of certain Canadian pharmacies by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy. This Canadian Pharmacy Program is designed to achieve two goals for Nevada residents - lower healthcare costs and protect residents who choose to have prescriptions filled in Canada by ensuring that the licensed pharmacies in the program meet the same standards as those protecting consumers in the U.S. The Canadian Pharmacy Program website does a thorough job of explaining the program, including a page of Frequently Asked Questions.
Is the Canadian Pharmacy Program Legal?Under Nevada law, yes. The Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau had determined that purchasing prescription drugs from the Canadian pharmacies licensed by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy does not violate Nevada law. You should carefully read the information about Nevada law pertaining to the program before deciding whether or not to participate.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), however, maintains that importing prescription drugs originally manufactured in the United States is a violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The main concern cited is patient safety, as quoted from the FDA website - "FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of products that are not FDA-approved and come from unknown sources and foreign locations, or that may not have been manufactured under proper conditions. These unknowns put patient's health at risk if they cannot be sure of the products identity, purity, and source. For these reasons, FDA recommends only obtaining medicines from legal sources in the U.S." In my opinion, with the controls under which the Nevada Canadian Pharmacy Program operates, the FDA argument doesn't stand up.
Under the Bush administration, attempts to allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada went nowhere. With the change of administrations in 2008, the position against importation has softened. I am not aware of any interference with the Nevada program from the FDA or any problems encountered by individuals following the program's rules and regulations.
Where to Get More Information about the Canadian Pharmacy Program
The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy can assist with concerns, complaints, or questions about a licensed Canadian Pharmacy. Call (775) 850-1440 or toll-free at (800) 364-2081. You can also direct inquiries to the Office for Consumer Health Assistance at (888) 333-1597.
Approved Canadian Pharmacies
Here are the approved Canadian pharmacies in the Nevada program. This list is subject to change - be sure to check the online list maintained by the program for the latest information before placing an order. Note: As of 12/13/2012, there were no Canadian pharmacies licensed by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.
Source: Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Consumer Health Assistance.