Weekly health information


´╗┐Canadian pharmacies online offer prescription medications at drastically reduced prices when compared to U.S. pharmacies. This is a well know fact. Yet, how do you know the medications from a Canadian pharmacy online will be the same as the medication you buy locally at a higher price? Does a lower price mean lower standards?

In Canada, wholesale drug purchases are controlled by the government and those price controls filter all the way down to the retail level. Retail prices for every Canadian Pharmacy are also under Government control, so prices are identical across the country.

There can be a slight difference in pricing between individual pharmacies because of their dispensing fee, where they are allowed to compete. (A dispensing fee is a flat rate a Canadian pharmacy charges for every prescription they fill, usually $7 ' $9 dollars) A Canadian pharmacy can also earn a rebate from the wholesale distributor depending on the volume of medications dispensed.

The Canadian pharmacy association is under strict government control starting from bulk import purchases right through to the consumer. Government agents inspect every aspect of this industry at regular intervals and at all levels. Canadian pharmacy standards are definitely as high as American standards in every respect. If a drug is dispensed from a Canadian pharmacy, you can be assured it is the genuine article.

Where Your Medications Come From

Brand-name medications are made by a specific pharmaceutical company, who of course holds the rights. Once the generic medication becomes available, (17 years after the license was issued by the Food and Drug Administration) other companies can produce the generic form of that medication.

The patent protection period allows time for the U.S. pharmaceutical company to recoup the costs associated with research and development. These name-brand medications are sold for "whatever the market will bear" and traditionally, the prices are very high. Once the patent protection period is over, other medication manufacturers begin making the generic form and of course the prices drop.

Sometimes a generic drug becomes available in Canada before the United States. In those cases you can benefit from the lower price for a year or more until the generic is available at home. On the other hand many new brand name drugs are available here for a year or more before they make their way into Canada. You have the advantage of first access to those improved drugs. Sometimes it can be 12 ' 18 months before it becomes available in Canada, if ever.

Quality Prescriptions From Canada?

Yes, the Canadian pharmacy online services who supply prescription medications to the general public on a mail-order basis send exactly the same medications as those obtained in the U.S. Yes, their prices really are lower and you can enjoy a large savings on your medications by choosing a reliable Canadian pharmacy to provide your medications.

Ask a Few Questions First

Choose a Canadian pharmacy that requires a prescription from your local doctor and then has a Canadian doctor co-sign your prescription. A prescription from the country of origin must be included with the shipment to be allowed across the border.


´╗┐When the doctor recommends a coronary angiogram to someone close to you, the initial reaction is denial and non acceptance. Some people also believe that anyone who undergoes this test would invariably have to go through bypass surgery. Others believe that it will be painful, requiring prolonged hospital admission. But the truth is that it is a simple X-ray of the heart blood vessels, virtually painless and requires a short stay. Coronary angiogram is one of the most accurate tests in the diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). It is used to pinpoint the location and severity of CAD and is relatively safe. A coronary angiogram is the 'gold standard' for evaluation of CAD. The test is done in a special laboratory called a cardiac catheterization laboratory, which is similar to an operating theater.

How is a coronary Angiogram performed?

The procedure will begin with the physician inserting an intravenous line into a blood vessel in the patient's arm. Coronary angiography is performed with the use of local anesthesia and is generally not terribly uncomfortable. During a coronary angiogram, a small catheter (a thin hollow tube with a diameter of 2-3 mm) is inserted through the skin into an artery generally in the wrist. Guided with the assistance of a fluoroscope the catheter is then advanced to the opening of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart. Next, a small amount of radiographic contrast, which is easily visualized with X-ray images, is injected into each coronary artery. The images that are produced are called the angiogram.

The procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes. After the procedure, the catheter is removed and the artery at the wrist is treated with manual compression to prevent bleeding.

Risks and Benefits

Coronary Angiogram is the only test, which allows precise quantification of the severity of CAD to optimally take decisions for the treatment. In appropriate patients, the therapeutic information learned from the angiogram is far more valuable than the relatively small risk of the procedure. There is a small but finite risk of serious complication from coronary angiography, as it is an 'invasive' test, but in the hands of experienced physicians, this risk is quite small (well below one per cent). Following the test the patients will be given instruction from their physician regarding exercise and exertion, care for the incision area and the use of medications.

Long Term Outlook

Treatment depends on the diagnosis made after the angiography. Narrowed coronary arteries can be treated during the angiogram itself by angioplasty. Another option for severely narrowed coronary arteries is a bypass operation. A coronary angiogram, which is normal, is as precious as the one that shows disease. A normal angiogram rules out a life threatening disease and is an impetus for the further continuation of a healthy lifestyle.