COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE – OCTOBER 2020
Covid-19 Service Update

At Universal Drugstore, the health and safety of our customers and staff is our highest priority. Due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic affecting us all, there have been some changes within our industry in general, and in our company specifically, that we want to make our customers aware of.

Call Center

Our call center hours of operation are 6:00 am – 9:00 pm on Monday to Friday, and 7:00 am – 7:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. If you are experiencing increased hold times or are calling outside of these hours, please leave us a message or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Due to increased demand on telephone networks worldwide, you may experience some intermittent connection problems. If this happens our agents will call you back.

Shipping

We are now seeing improvements in our shipping times. However, things are not yet back to normal and there are still delays occurring. Our normal shipping time averages 1 - 2 weeks. Shipments may take an additional 2 – 4 weeks or more to arrive, depending on the source country of your order. Shipments from the United Kingdom and Canada are generally quicker than from other countries.

Please note that these times are averages and individual shipping times will vary. We highly recommend that you place your order at least 2 – 4 weeks or more ahead of your normal reorder time to avoid running out of your medication.

These are industry-wide delays and are mainly occurring due to disruptions in local postal delivery in the countries where our customers live. They are temporary, and we thank the shipping and delivery personnel who are working hard for all of us during this global crisis.

Please Note: We are now resuming our normal 30-Day Shipping Guarantee. We will provide updates as the situation changes.

Our Commitment

If you have any questions about any changes in our service please do not hesitate to contact us. Our staff are working tirelessly to ensure the timely fulfillment and delivery of all orders. The health of our customers and staff is our highest priority and we remain committed to providing service at the highest level.

We thank you for your support in these challenging times.


Management and Staff
North Drugstore

What is a "Generic" medication/drug?

Generic drugs are medications that have the same medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo comparative testing to ensure that they are the same as their "brand" counterparts in:

  • Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
  • Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
  • Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
  • Strength
  • Quality
  • Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
  • Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)

What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the same therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.

What differences are there between generic and brand?

While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Cost
  • Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)

The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain the same active ingredients and must be the same in strength and dosage to the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.

Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?

When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.

The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different, but they are required to be have the same active ingredient.

How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?

The two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.