With its capital Ottawa, Canada is a country with an estimated area of 9,984,670 km. The official languages spoken are French and English. It is a country with many attractions. We can cite Banff National Park, an incredible place, Mont Tremblant, Toronto, Niagara Falls, to name a few. For many tourists, this is a dream country. However, who wants to go far must spare his mount. In other words, it is essential to get drugs in Canada. So how does Canada’s health care system work? What are the steps to take as a tourist?
Electronic Visa Administrative Procedures for Canada
To be authorized to make a tourist trip to Canada, you must first complete many formalities relating to entry into the territory. With technological advances, the task is relatively simplified. It is possible to complete all the procedures directly online. The traveler can then obtain a travel authorization online, called an AVE. It is an imperative document for any citizen likely to make tourism or transit in Canada. How do I get an AVE Canada application? First, you must have your passport in good and due form, have a credit or debit card, an updated email address and answer a few questions that will be asked in the form of a form to fill out. This procedure is easy to perform and does not take enough time. If it is well accomplished, the response to your request will be communicated to you by email (after 72 hours). Pay attention to the information that will be sent to you by email! And in case of any difficulty, just follow the instructions to the letter. Then everything will be back to normal. In total, if you want to leave for Canada, before even thinking of booking a flight or doing something else, you must be sure to have established an AVE Canada request online and make sure that the answer is positive.
How Can you Buy Drugs in Canada During an Extended Tourist Trip?
Buying drugs in Canada is not easy because the health system of this country is complex. The best alternative would be to plan your medication in advance. However, there are many ways to work around possible inconveniences. Moreover, administrative reforms have been adopted by the Canadian government to improve this situation. Where to get medicine? How to check the reliability of these drugs? In Canada, there are several drug sales sites. Refueling is therefore not difficult. But you have to be careful and avoid online pharmacies that have no definite references or do not give a medical prescription. It is necessary to check the name of the pharmacy, its post office box, its reference offices, its accreditations. However, the medical prescription may not be available in certain cases, in particular in the event that the client experiences pressing discomfort.
We can also do without simple drugs. Nevertheless, a series of questions will be asked of the client to guide him in his choice as well as on the dose of medication to be administered. It is vitally important to follow all of these details to the letter before rushing to place any order for drugs. To buy drugs in Canada, you can refer to renowned pharmacies. There are many online reference pharmacies, offering quality services and substantial discounts. Through Apppharma.com, one of a go-to services to mail-order drugs, buying online can be a good way to save money.
For pharmacists in Canada, respect for professional ethics and professional conduct is always the order of the day, which constitutes a guarantee of confidentiality, quality and satisfaction for the client. Overall, online pharmacies in Canada operate professionally. To put it simply, the other alternative is to go directly to hospital departments. It is also possible to find out in the area where you are, from the appropriate people. Ideally, you should have the Embassy contact for more credible and detailed information. It’s also a way to protect yourself.
What Are Drug Prices in Canada?
Canada’s drug prices are constantly increasing. In other words, buying drugs in Canada is no easy task. These prices are regulated by industry, government, provinces and pharmacies. This phenomenon is not beneficial for buyers. As a result, Canada ranks as one of the countries where drugs are expensive. This is not without consequence. However, this analysis does not in any way mean that, for a tourist, it is impossible to buy medicines. The Canadian government, faced with this growing problem, has taken measures that will be effective in 2020. Much anticipated, this horizon raises many hopes.
Special Case: Follow-up of a Pregnancy or an Abortion
There is nothing more beautiful than a trip as part of a tourist activity. It is a great opportunity to make great discoveries. But how do you deal with childbirth while traveling in Canada? It is necessary for a tourist to have the embassy contact for the declaration of birth. The follow-up of a pregnancy in Canada is done in a progressive and detailed way. It is first necessary to meet a gynecologist, for medical follow-up throughout pregnancy. He will do a first check to confirm the pregnancy and make sure there is no problem. In the event of a disappointment outside of his competence, he sends a patient to a specialist. It is important to note that the medical costs in Canada for monitoring pregnancy are not identical to those in other countries. But all things considered, the care is of very good quality and that is the main thing. All ultrasounds are done by the order of a gynecologist. If pregnancy is completed, the delivery will normally take place in the hospital center or clinic chosen, without any discrimination. And the medical costs are borne by a tourist. The convention of the agreement of social security between does not make provision concerning the assumption of responsibility related to possible childbirth, even if a woman concerned profit from social security. Childbirth while traveling in Canada is not a major problem because, in Canada, there are specialized centers and qualified doctors. However, tourist status is not a panacea for preferential treatment of related expenses.
- What about an abortion while traveling in Canada?
In Canada, the case of an abortion is not a criminal offense. As a result, any woman is free to terminate her pregnancy, either by taking pills or by surgical abortion. There are health centers or hospitals where it is possible to perform an abortion without paying medical costs in Canada. Thus, a foreign citizen on a tourist trip can abort if she wants to. She will just have to go to a medical center, make an appointment, get examined and follow the common abortion protocol to the letter. This practice is accessible to all, without discrimination.
About Chinese Suppliers
Antibiotics, antidepressants, chemotherapy, anticoagulants essential for surgical procedures: an increasing proportion of the drugs consumed in Canada come from active ingredients made in China. At a time when the two countries are on the diplomatic cold, should tourists worry about this dependence?
- Commercial tensions
History illustrates a little-known fact: Canada is increasingly dependent on China for the supply of medicines. If China turns off the tap, Canadian drugstore shelves will be empty within three months and our hospitals will no longer be able to function as they do now. This is true for the United States, but also for Canada, Europe, and even India.
- China is becoming the world’s pharmacy
While diplomatic relations between Canada and China are at their worst, this situation raises questions. Since Canadian authorities arrested a senior manager of Chinese company Huawei in December 2018, China has responded by arresting and sentencing Canadians to death for endangering national security and drug trafficking. Imports of several Canadian agricultural products have also been blocked by China, including pork until recently. According to the financial group Bloomberg, the recall of valsartan potentially affected 10 million patients in 30 countries.
- Unknown proportion
How much of Canadian medicine comes from China? Impossible to say with accuracy. Health Canada is unable to provide statistics on the number of drugs or pharmaceutical ingredients on the Canadian market that are produced abroad. The only figures available do not relate to the drugs themselves, but to the establishments that manufacture them. Looking at these figures, China’s place does not seem preponderant. Canadian importers of finished drugs do business with Chinese establishments in less than 3% of cases. For those who import active ingredients used to make medicines, the figure is 15%. Pharmaceutical imports and exports between Canada and China remain proportionately low in terms of volume and monetary value compared to the overall volume and monetary value of the pharmaceutical trade between Canada and the rest of the world.
Experts, however, question this claim. Some would say that 70 to 80% of the drugs approved in Canada are made with active ingredients from China. The Chinese active ingredients are imported into Canadian, American, or European factories, where they are dosed and mixed with non-active ingredients called excipients.
China is an important supplier. Indeed, there is a certain concentration in Asia, and particularly in India and China. The latter has a few players who are becoming large enough and whose kidneys are strong enough to support the demand for high-volume products.
- Americans Are Worried
In the United States, where dependence on China for drugs is becoming a national concern, it is estimated that 70 to 80% of the drugs entering American soil are based on active ingredients from China or India. These figures are notably mentioned in a report for the industry written last March.
When you go up the manufacturing chain even further up the line, you discover that it is still China that controls the industry. The active ingredients made in India, for example, are mostly assembled with raw products from Chinese factories. Without Chinese raw materials, the Indian pharmaceutical industry closes its doors tomorrow morning. Western countries therefore depend, directly or indirectly, on China for their supply of medicines.
The Chinese are currently manufacturing the active ingredients behind just about every class of drug we consume. They cover the cardio, the central nervous system, the antibiotics… It is as much the tablets and the creams as the sterile products used in hospitals. They lead quite a lot. The United States is no longer able to manufacture the good old penicillin and China has established a virtual monopoly even on vitamin C.
- A political risk
In the pharmaceutical sector, more and more, all roads lead to China. These roads are bumpy, sometimes tortuous, and too often unsafe. The concerns reported fall into two categories: first the quality of Chinese active ingredients (see other tab), and the geopolitical risk of being dependent on China for such crucial products. What would happen if a global pandemic hits and China decides to keep its medicines for itself? Or if the country used the threat to turn off the tap as a negotiating lever.
The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs did not want to comment directly on the risk of Canada’s dependence on China for drugs. Canada is deeply concerned about recent actions by China, including the arbitrary detention and arbitrary sentencing of Canadian citizens. Although there is a difficult time in relations between Canada and China, this relationship remains a priority for Canada.
- Should we be afraid of Chinese medicines?
Are Chinese pharmaceutical ingredients of good quality? How did we come to depend on them to make our medicines? Are they only found in generic drugs? The challenges in four questions.
Massive recalls have given China a bad press. That of valsartan, which contained a potentially carcinogenic substance, also affected losartan and irbesartan, drugs of the same class. In 2008, contaminated heparin from China caused deaths and severe reactions. Heparin is an anticoagulant very often used during surgical procedures.
All suppliers who sell active ingredients used in the manufacture of drugs sold in Canada must convince Health Canada that they are following ‘good manufacturing practices’. Health Canada sometimes inspects Chinese factories, but these are rare. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, 45 inspections were carried out in foreign establishments, including only three in China. Compliant ratings have been assigned to each of the Chinese establishments. Note that these inspections are generally announced in advance. Health Canada also works with authorities such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, who conduct their own inspections and make the findings available. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, 29 proofs of compliance provided by such partners concerning Chinese establishments were thus examined by Health Canada.
Note that this fall, an investigation by STAT, a media specializing in life sciences, showed that Chinese factories are more often given notices of non-compliance following inspections by the Food and Drug Administration than Indian, European or American factories. The proportion of falsification and manipulation of discovered data is also higher.