— The Future of Safe Online Pharmacy
NABP became the registry operator for the .pharmacy domain to create a safe online environment where consumers can be confident that the websites where they buy medication or obtain information are safe and legitimate. Along with its global coalition of pharmacy community stakeholders, the Association also sought to keep the domain out of the hands of a third party that may turn a blind eye to illegal activities. In today’s digital environment, .pharmacy is the way to turn the tide against sophisticated criminals who build authentic-looking sites and can easily duplicate verification logos to trick unsuspecting consumers into thinking they are visiting a legitimate online pharmacy. With .pharmacy, the “seal of quality” is built into the web address.
As with all NABP programs, vetting for .pharmacy applicants is thorough and requires those seeking approval to prove that they are operating safely, legitimately, and in accordance with program standards. And once NABP has granted approval, the Association continues to monitor registered sites to be sure that they adhere to program standards and operate legitimately. Protecting public health is the Association’s priority. Those online pharmacies and pharmacies-related websites that are granted use of the .pharmacy domain must therefore adhere to this priority in order to retain their .pharmacy domain name.
The .Pharmacy Community
When NABP sought to become the registry operator for .pharmacy, the Association received support from members of the pharmacy community around the world. These stakeholders provided support on several levels, doing so because they believed NABP to be the best equipped to establish and maintain the .pharmacy domain as a secure and trustworthy domain for consumers.
NABP spearheads the .pharmacy initiative, working closely with a global coalition of pharmacy community stakeholders. To ensure the program operates in a manner consistent with international laws and standards, NABP:
- Establishes relationships with regulators in each jurisdiction where the .pharmacy domain names are available
- Coordinates with the appropriate national regulatory bodies when reviewing .pharmacy applications to ensure compliance with applicable laws
- Maintains the highest program standards through participation in global forums to gather input from international pharmacy community stakeholders
The program is overseen by two advisory committees and an executive board that operate under the principles outlined in the NABP .pharmacy governance document (PDF). The .Pharmacy Regulator Advisory Committee and the .Pharmacy Registrant/Supporter Advisory Committee are made up of pharmacy, regulatory, and digital experts from around the world. Both committees provide expertise and insight to the .Pharmacy Executive Board regarding matters of strategy and policy for the operation of the .pharmacy domain. The .Pharmacy Executive Board makes recommendations for review and approval by the NABP Executive Committee. Recommendations may concern strategy and national and international standards that are consistent with the mission and purpose of the .pharmacy domain and the interests of the global public health.
The reports of the committees can be found in the Publications and Reports section.