Buying PrEP Online
Cross-Border Online Shopping for PrEP
Importing medications directly into Canada by courier or mail is not permitted for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. But people staying in Canada on temporary visas can have drugs shipped to Canada. See our “Undetectable Viral Load” page for more information on this. Citizens can buy medications online and have them shipped to the US for pickup.
Substantial savings can be achieved by buying PrEP online. Currently, you may only cross the Canadian border with your own medications for personal use, when you have a prescription for a condition you need treatment for, prior to crossing the border. Despite this, Canadians living close to the border report being able to purchase a post office box in the US and gain access to a three-month supply of PrEP1.
Border agents are not likely to be concerned about this if you have a prescription for a legal, approved drug in Canada. However, crossing into Canada with medications for personal use is at the discretion of Border Services, who have the power to refuse to allow the medications into Canada if they choose to2.
For a step-by- step guide on how to purchase generic PrEP and import it into Canada at a fraction of the cost, please see the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance’s “How to Order PrEP Online Guide”.
Have you had a look at “The PrEP You Want: How to Order PrEP Online”? Do you have a sense of whether you would or would not be interested in trying it? We’d love to hear from you, either way! Click here to sign up for a short, 10-15 minute survey. Participants will be compensated $5 for their time.
What else could reduce the cost of PrEP?
Generic Drugs vs. Patent Drugs
Currently the patent that Gilead holds on PrEP in Canada is set to run out in the summer of 2017. That means that other companies can start providing it here at a lower price. How low can depend on things like how many companies will start producing and selling the medication in Canada. They will not use the brand name “Truvada,” but the medications or variations of the medications (Emtricitabine & Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate) will be used in the generic form.
Imagine if you only had to take PrEP each time you planned to have sex to protect yourself rather than every single day. That would mean that instead of spending $1,000 on medication you would spend significantly less, depending on your level of sexual activity. Promising research, such as the IPERGAY Study from Montreal and France, is showing that “PrEP-on- demand” may be effective3.
1 www.catie.ca/en/webinars/pepprep-update- bc-case- study
2Bringing PrEP back to Canada is illegal. March 8, 2017 retrieved:
http://http://www.dailyxtra.com/canada/news-and- ideas/news/ bringing-prep- back-canada-from- the-us- illegal-sort- 186553?m=sites/ all/themes/dailyxtra/images/ dailyxtra_header_logo.png/terms-of- use/ privacy-policysites/all/themes/ dailyxtra/images/dailyxtra_headerprivacy-policy