Archive for July, 2011

Mail-Order Delivery of Prescription Medication Leads to Better Adherence

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

People who ordered their statins, such as Lipitor through the mail were more likely to control their cholesterol levels than those who had the prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy, according to a study of 100,298 people with high cholesterol enrolled in health plans that allow mail-order prescriptions. The study appears in the current online issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine and is a strong argument that the convenience and cost savings that online mail-order international pharmacies like Canada Drugs can assist in maintaining the proper use of maintenance medication such as the cholesterol fighting statins.

The study looked at new statin users between 2005 and 2007, and found that twenty-nine percent used a mail-order pharmacy at least once to refill their medication and they found that those receiving their prescription through the mail that over 85 percent of those patients hit their target cholesterol levels during follow-up tests at least three months after they started the drugs. Of the group that used only a traditional walk-in pharmacy, 74 percent hit the target levels.

Previous studies have shown that mail-order pharmacy use is associated with greater medication adherence. At Canada Drugs, our Patient Service Team will inform you well in advance of when a refill needs to be ordered, and the convenience of free-shipping right to your door delivery makes it easy to receive medication.

Another factor that stops many people from sticking to a Lipitor or other statin medication regime is the cost. These important and life–saving medications stretch the budget of too many Americans and Canada Drugs affordable alternative is a way to stick to your doctors recommendation, but not struggle to afford the costs associated with taking these medications.

At Canada Drugs we sell both brand name Lipitor and Atorvastatin, it’s generic equivalent. You will save 20-40% off the brand name product and will see even greater savings if you switch to the generic.


Same Drug, Different Look: Generics and Brand Drug Appearances

Posted by on July 20th, 2011

One of the most common questions that our pharmacists are asked at Canada Drugs concerns why the color, shape or marking on generic drugs differ from what patients are used to on their brand name drugs. The simple answer is, they look different because they have to. Even though the drugs are same chemically, the big pharmaceutical companies that make the brand name versions protect their patents by ensuring that the generic equivalents differ in appearance from the brand.

In an article in the current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jeremy Greene and Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim explore at length why generic pills look different from their brand-name equivalents and from competitors that the Food and Drug Administration certifies as being bioequivalent — having the same effect on the body and they question whether the difference in appearance has public health implications.

In the article they make the case that rules that force generic drugs to look different than the brand version often confuses patients and can result in patients going off their medication when they are presented a drug that looks different than one they were formerly taking. Also, of concern is that when you struggle with high prescription costs, it is generic alternatives that are often the best way to fit the medication into your budget, and even though the drugs are therapeutically equivalent, many people don’t make the switch to cheaper generics because they look different.

The New York Times explored the issue of generic pill differences at length. The bottom line is that generics look different, but are the exact same medication and are always significantly cheaper.

The fastest way for you to save on your prescription drug bill is to contact Canada Drugs and speak to one of our Patient Service Representatives about the availability of generic equivalents to your current medications. You’ll be looking at savings of 40%-80% off your current costs, for the same drug, but it might come in a red pill instead of a blue pill, but you need to ask yourself is it worth paying so much more for the blue pill just because it has a brand name with a big marketing push behind it? When you’re struggling with high drug costs, the answer most often is no.


UV Safety Month

Posted by on July 12th, 2011

July marked UV Safety Month, an annual awareness month where the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Eye Doctor’s around the country encourage everyone to protect their eyes from UV-related damage.

We all know the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but what about protection for our eyes? During UV Safety Month people are reminded that the summer sun can not only lead to harmful burns and increased risk of skin cancer, but that prolonged exposure to the sun’s invisible, high energy ultraviolet rays without protection may cause eye conditions that can lead to vision loss, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

To protect your eyes it is recommended that you wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat when the UV index is high. It is also worth remembering that reflected sunlight off water, snow or pavement can be the most dangerous because it is intensified.

When picking sunglasses you want ones the block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens. UV protection can come from adding chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or from a chemical coating applied to the lens surface, so don’t just assume that the darker your shades are that the better they protect. Also, the more expensive sunglasses are not necessarily better than cheaper ones when it comes to offering you eye protection. Many inexpensive sunglasses offer just as much sun protection as $500 designer eye wear.

So when you’re out playing in the summer sun, make sure you apply sunscreen bought from Canada Drugs online pharmacy and that you don’t forget your hat and sunglasses too to ensure that you are fully protected from the sun.


Know Your Sunscreen Facts

Posted by on July 6th, 2011

The federal government last week for the first time in more than 3 decades issued new sunscreen labeling regulations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations attempt to ban sunscreen manufacturers from labeling their products with misleading information. The new rules which will go into effect in a years time should help sun worshipers better protect themselves by clarifying the confusing and misleading labeling on sunscreens and suntan lotions that often leave people confused about exact product is best to protect themselves and their family from harmful radiation.

The full guideline of new regulations can be read at the FDA website. Among the highlights of the new rules that you might notice when shopping for a sunscreen.

  • Products will no longer be able to be labeled “waterproof” or “sweatproof.” Instead, they will have to list how many minutes they can last in the face of moisture. Also gone? The word “sunblock.” Too misleading.
  • Only sunscreens found, in the lab, to protect equally against UVA and UVB rays will carry a “broad spectrum” designation. (The current SPF ratings that most consumers rely on refer to how well sunscreen stands up to UVB rays only.) In addition, only sunscreens that are SPF 15 and higher will be able to claim they reduce the risks of skin cancer and aging.

SPF, or the Sun Protection Factor, measures a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVB rays, which are the rays that cause skin to redden. So does sunscreen with SPF 30 provide double the protection of SPF 15? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the reality looks like this: SPF 15 blocks 93 per cent of UVB rays; SPF 30 blocks 97 per cent; and SPF 50 blocks 98 per cent. Sunscreen isn’t additive, either, so putting on sunscreen with SPF 15 over a lotion with SPF 30 doesn’t equal SPF 45. and while SPF is an important factor when buying sunscreen, it doesn’t protect against UVA rays. Even though these rays don’t cause sunburn like UVB rays, they’re still dangerous. For starters, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing premature aging, including wrinkles, sagging and discolouration. Worse, they exacerbate UVB’s damaging effects and cause skin cancer. To shield skin from both UVB and UVA rays, find a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum protection.” Some ingredients to look for include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, physical ingredients that offer UVA and UVB protection and are gentler on the skin than chemical formulas.

Besides knowing what’s in the sunscreen products it’s also smart to use them correctly. It’s always best to apply your sunscreen BEFORE you go outside! If you read the instructions on the back of product you will see that the manufactures recommend applying the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun’s powerful rays. That time let’s your skin absorb some of the product and makes it more effective.

Many people also don’t use enough sunscreen. It’s recommended that an adult needs about 1 ounce of sunscreen for adequate coverage and remember to apply the lotion or spray to all exposed skin. Many people forget about their ears, neck and feet, only to end up with a nasty and uncomfortable burn later in the day! Besides making sure you use enough, it will work better if applied to clean, dry skin and should always be reapplied after perspiring, exercise or swimming. The waterproof, and water resistant products still need to be reapplied after a certain amount of time to make sure they will continue to work.

And one more quick tip to make sure that you get the most out of your sunscreen…make sure you put it on! It seems simple, but even on overcast days, the sun is still in the sky and you are still getting UV radiation, so apply sunscreen no matter what the cloud cover is. Most weather reports will now include a UV warning, so let that guide your decision to wear sunscreen or not.

Everyone at CanadaDrugs.com wants our customers to enjoy the summer sun, but do it safely, that’s why we carry a full line of popular brand and comparable generics sunscreen products. Canada Drugs offers the widest assortment of OTC sunscreen products of any online pharmacy. We carry a variety of lotions, creams and spray sun protection products at all SPF levels. We sell all the major brand names available in the United States, as well as a selection of products available from other countries.