Why has my online pharmacy stopped taking credit card payments?

Have you had trouble using a credit card to purchase medications from an international online pharmacy lately? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, this problem won’t be going away any time soon. Companies like Visa and Mastercard have joined the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), an alliance of organizations that aims to protect people from rogue and unsafe online pharmacies. Unfortunately, CSIP’s definition of a “safe online pharmacy” takes a broad-based approach and rejects any based outside the United States.

We agree that consumer protections are critical. Consumers should be wary when ordering medications online because there are rogue entities out there selling counterfeit medicine. But safe and legitimate international online pharmacies also exist. More importantly, they offer dramatic savings (50-80 percent) to American patients struggling to afford their needed medicines. Because what good is a medicine if you can’t afford it?

LegitScript is steering the course of CSIP. This private company certifies online pharmacies for safety and they have an FDA contract for $5.2 million to provide “Internet monitoring of illegal online pharmacies.” Their mission is: “promoting safety and transparency for online pharmacies and health products.” But their guidelines require that a pharmacy be located in the United States and that drugs are FDA approved if selling into the U.S.

Canada and other international pharmacies often sell the exact same drugs that get at home with the only difference being the packaging. And of course, these meds are not “FDA approved” because each country has its own system for regulating pharmaceuticals (some arguably safer than our own).

The good news is that international online pharmacies are offering customers the ability to pay for their medications by check. Of course, this may mean that payments take longer to process and medication shipments are delayed, which is never good for patients. Please keep this in mind when planning your next order.

Remember, we have tips for finding a safe international online pharmacy on our website.


28 Comments On “Why has my online pharmacy stopped taking credit card payments?”

  1. My Canadian Pharmacy ships my meds as soon as they receive a fax copy of my check. That way, if they don’t receive the check within 30 days, they can debit my account anyway. It has worked great. They contact me as soon as they receive the check via mail. Small inconvenience when I consider how much money I am saving. My last order was delivered to my door about a week after I placed the order

  2. How is it that Drug Companies are the only companies protected from foriegn competion ? If our congressman cared about the people and not the huge donations these guys make ,maybe this would change .

  3. Interesting…..I ran into this problem a couple of months ago when re-ordering an expensive drug on line thru an British company using a direct shipping method from India. I call their customer service and they had no answers at the time. I had to issue an e-check from my bank to clear the billing.

  4. I first heard about this when I tried to buy online from a Canadian pharmacy a few months back. They would not accept my (MasterCard) debit card, but they never really said why. However, they did let me pay by check, which I was able to email to them. Since then, I have ordered from another pharmacy who also let me email them a check. So I haven’t found this to be a big problem. My biggest fear is not being able to buy from Canada at all. My medications (inhalers for COPD) are about 1/3 the price at home when I buy them from a Canadian pharmacy, and they are the EXACT SAME MEDICINE.

  5. In order to expedite my medication from Canada, I had to fax my check for the medication. I felt very unsafe doing this. My bank was kind enough to fax it for me and when I called the pharmacy said that they had received it. If I had mailed a check, it could have taken 3 to 4 weeks for the medication to arrive. This is just a big hassle to discourage U. S. citizens from using Canadian pharmacies.

  6. Why should credit card companies be allowed to tell us what we can or cannot buy anyway???

  7. Yes I use the same meds for COPD. I have been ordering them from Canada, too. The meds are all from a pharmacy, CIPLA, in India and shipped from other ports. I have used these meds from India for over 4 years and they are the true product. I get a 3 month supply for a little over $100 and in the US these same meds would cost $300 a month
    . What is different is the Indian pharmacy uses much less costing packaging. My pharmacy now accepts e-check.

  8. I’m guessing it may have something to do with the exchange rates at the time of purchase. It costs more for the pharmacy to process a debit or credit purchase, too, something on the order of 3%. I have been emailing a check and that seems to have solved the problem for me.

  9. How much did BigPharma pay the credit card companies (Visa & Mastercard) to not allow their use of credit cards for RX ‘s made outside of the USA? In addition…Mr. Chuck Grassley was able to get into the bill two items: 1) not allowing the negotiation of lower rates, and 2) Allow no Americans to purchase Canadian drugs. Here we thought he was a conservative who protected his constituents! Suspect that the new people elected from Iowa will be strongly under the influence of Grassley. It’s time for term limits!

  10. I would suggest to ask online pharmacies to adopt Bitcoin a payment system.
    Today it is already integrated in many POS software and would allow both fast payments (surely in the matter of hours) and prevent chargebacks and other problems with credit cards.

  11. frankensteingovernment

    When are you people going to wake up and understand that nobody represents the American people. Our politicians represent big pharma, big banks, big media…whoever writes them the biggest campaign checks.

    They do not care about you. You only exist as a consumer to be fleeced by corporate America. It’s time to wake up.

  12. If there was legitimate competition, then the prices would be more competing to foreign markets. BUT it isn’t….the drug companies have lobbied and won massive protections…..FOR THEM, not so much for the consumer..

  13. Big Brother, Big Pharma, Big Banks = Loss of
    Rights, Receiving Less And Costing More.

  14. Really sucks, I’m not an American I’m in the UK trying to buy from New Zealand and I still can’t use my Cards all other means such has international bank transfers are asking for 1000’s and try asking a bank cashier to send a check to a pharmacy on the other side of the planet is crazy!

  15. Big Pharma if nothing else knows how to splash their big cash around to maintain their monopolies. Ironic part of this, the govts. also pay more for drugs that they cover. But biggest loser is the middle income person who must pay higher prices, or go without. (Low income ppl get it for free and rich ppl probably get free “samples” from their private doc when needed!) Today I am trying to buy pregabalin (lyrica). Mfr. sells generic overseas, such as UK. But not in US. What’s up with that? The Canadien pharmacies have been shut down by CIPA. The reason they give is that it’s a ‘narcotic.’ But it says right on their TV ads: “Not a narcotic or addictive.” But that’s only partly true. I AM addicted to not having numbness and pain in my feet like I have without it. Now I can hardly buy the stuff. My primary Doc won’t write a prescription, which I have had with no hassles for 4 years, because FDA and FL Law Enforcement say the drug must be prescribed by a pain management doc. Guess what? That adds another $100 for 2 specialists’ visits per 90-day refill which those docs know you must comply with! What a racket!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. If we have learned anything in last year, the GOP is just as bought and paid for as the Dems. So pick your poison! I am voting Libertarian Gary Johnson in protest. I don’t do marijuana, but maybe that’s the answer! Free marijuana for all if Johnson is elected! Then screw the pain med mfgrs.!!!

  17. I wouldn’t have said what I just did (above) if I read your reply first! Mega dittoes!

  18. It’s just a way of control. Once gov. gets involved, you didn’t this it was for the PEOPLE’s benefit did you? I am convinced that Congress especially is just theater for the masses. Means absolutely nothing. They don’t act until it’s in the last hour before a major deadline. Then they act like heroes because they pulled an all nighter! And get their faces on TV for folks back home. I didn’t see this coming (America’s decline) in my lifetime. But we are on threshold.

  19. I just experienced it for first time. The person who called me did not explain it well, had a very thick foreign accent, spoke quickly. It seemed too much like a scam, even if it weren’t. They wanted me to give bank #’s off the checking acct. over the phone. I declined and told them to cancel order. The agents need to explain this better when dealing with first time customers (IMHO).

  20. They want a free market for everyone other than consumers in need. I have been forced abroad because my doctor won’t prescribe the first thing ever to help my immune symptoms without side effects. It’s not about consumer protection at all, as all drugs have the potential to be dangerous and even kill.

  21. No, it’s not. You are confusing a very much needed regulatory agency with one that is controlled by Big Pharma. There are SIX pharma lobbyists for every member of Congress. That’s where you need to direct your anger.

  22. It’s a bless that I found RxRights where I can buy my LDN because my doctor refuse to prescribe it 🙁 ,

  23. Sorry to hear this, Debora. We have tips for finding a safe online pharmacy on our website, but reputable sites will always require a prescription. Can you get a second opinion from another doctor if you know this medication works for you?

  24. Very well said frankensteingoverment

  25. Right. It’s about maintaining the monopoly over the medicine we need held by Big Pharma with the support of its lapdog the FDA.

  26. They’re in it together, it’s a conspiracy, so who cares at whom you direct your anger, they’re on the same team. And the FDA is rotten to the core.

  27. It’s to stop all those terrorists who are ordering feminising hormones.

  28. Write them a check and call them. They give you and ID #. It takes about 3-5 weeks right now to get scripts filled. Our big Pharma is such a scam. I pay $210 for one month of my meds in the US. In Canada, I pay $220 for a 3 month supply. I’m willing to take any risk involved.

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