FAQ About Internet Pharmacies

How do I verify websites operated by pharmacies from other provinces?

The rules for operating an internet pharmacy may vary in other provinces so we encourage you to contact the local College of Pharmacists directly for verification.


Can the pharmacist fill a prescription that was written by a U.S. doctor?

No. Ontario pharmacists can only fill and counsel for prescriptions authorized or signed by a licensed Canadian prescriber (i.e. physician, dentist, etc.)


How do I verify websites operated out of the United States?

Pharmacy websites in the United States are reviewed and verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy through its Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ (VIPPS™) program.


What can I do if I am unhappy with the care and service that I have received from an Internet pharmacy?

If you have questions or concerns about the care you have received, we encourage you to first raise your comments with the pharmacist. If that is not possible or sufficient we encourage you to talk to the pharmacy's designated manager or owner. Or, read more about the College's Complaints & Reports Process.


How can I protect myself from purchasing counterfeit health products online?

Avoid buying health products from questionable websites and verify that the pharmacy is legitimate. Look for health products that have been authorized by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM). Consumers can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada's Drug Product Database, Licensed Natural Health Product Database or Medical Devices Active Licence Listing (MDALL). You can also check Health Canada's Recall and Safety Alerts Database for advisories on illegal health products that have been found in Canada.