Friday, November 6, 2009

My Love Affair with Canadian pharmacies

I have some ties to Canada (specifically, Ontario) and just got back from a trip across the border. Why do I enjoy my occasional visits so much? Is it the unfailing politeness and intangible feeling of civility I encounter there? The lower prescription prices? The health care system that is equally accessible to both the minimum wage-earners and the CEOs? The notices smartly posted in the banks and other public buildings about protecting yourself from the flu?

Yes, all those things, but as a pharmacist I really enjoy snooping around in the Canadian pharmacies.
First of all, there are a number of items that are over-the-counter in Canada that we still need a prescription for in the U.S. -- things like Allegra, Clarinex (although it's called something else) & scopolamine patches, to name a few. I stock up on those for my allergies and airplane flights. Sudafed products are still out on the shelves in Canada. They even have "extra strength" Advil (400 mg per tablet -- sweet!) I don't know what the meth situation is in Canada, although the pharmacy I visited did have two large signs in the front window stating that "narcotics such as Oxycontin are available by special order only." I wouldn't have a problem with that at all.
Then I proceed to the checkout where the candy is, and this is the part I really like.
The uniquely Canadian candy bars like Coffee Crisp, Aero (the bubbly chocolate), Smarties (cousin to M & M's), and the tooth-rottingly delicious Crunchie Bar (sponge toffee coated in chocolate). The clerk must have thought I was loading up for the trick-or-treaters but no, it's all for me to take home and hoard.

Instead of "Dancing with the Stars" they have "Battle of the Blades". It's a show where skating pairs compete, and the male half is an ex-NHL hockey player! You gotta love it.
Oh, and the ubiquitous Tim Horton's coffee and donut shops ---- heaven.
I know I should be thinking about larger issues than these, but not today. I'll take a large coffee and a honey-glazed, and all's right with the world in the arms of our neighbor to the north.


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Afternoon tea, too.

Pharmacist said...

I love this post. I am Canadian, and I can't argue with you!

Chris said...

I'm not Canadian, but I do love everything from the Great White North - hockey, better beer, Tim Horton's.......I gotta move.

Deb (Tech In Ontario) said...

What a lovely post about Canada (Ontario!). Thanks for visiting!

SeaSideRobin said...

o.O You don't have Aero bars? Or smarties? *shudder*