With thousands of illegally operating websites selling prescription drugs, the Partnership for Safe Medicines is urging consumers to protect themselves from substandard, dangerous, and counterfeit drugs by checking that online pharmacies are accredited by NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites® (VIPPS®) or Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites® (Vet-VIPPS®) programs. The organization encourages patients who are seeking lower prices on medications to compare prices between VIPPS-accredited Internet pharmacies and brick-and-mortar pharmacies to find the best deals, and to talk to their health care providers about possible discounts.
NABP has reviewed more than 10,900 websites selling prescription drugs to patients in the US and found that nearly 97% are operating out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards established to protect the public health. To help consumers in the US find the safest sources for purchasing medications online, NABP developed the VIPPS program. NABP encourages consumers to look for the VIPPS Seal and to check NABP’s list of accredited sites. In addition, consumers may look for pharmacy sites using the newly launched .pharmacy Top-Level Domain. Sites that have a website address ending in .pharmacy have been reviewed by NABP and identified as being legitimate online pharmacies or pharmacy resources adhering to applicable pharmacy laws and best practices.