NABP welcomed domestic and international stakeholders last week for a meeting of the .Pharmacy Supporter Advisory Committee. The committee’s guidance is an important part of operationalizing the new .pharmacy generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD). Members of the committee, which is composed of representatives of domestic and international regulatory agencies and patient safety advocacy groups, as well as technical and industry experts, stressed the importance of implementing standards and policies to support the .Pharmacy gTLD Program’s goal to provide patients and consumers around the world a means for identifying safe, legal, and ethical online pharmacies and related resources.
The advisory committee discussed implementation of the .pharmacy standards, including issues related to the international operationalization of the gTLD. International stakeholders, in particular European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, International Pharmaceutical Federation, National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, and Ordre National des Pharmaciens, shared their expertise on regulatory and pharmacy practice matters. NABP will continue to collaborate with advisory committee members, particularly its international members, to ensure that global implementation of the .pharmacy gTLD meets the unique laws and concerns of each jurisdiction in which the domain is used. The advisory committee meeting followed NABP’s execution of a Registry Agreement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers on June 19, 2014, to become the registry operator for the new .pharmacy gTLD.
NABP plans to launch the .pharmacy gTLD by fall 2014, and, working closely with the .Pharmacy Supporter Advisory Committee, will implement policies to ensure that only legitimate website operators that adhere to pharmacy laws in the jurisdictions in which they are based and to which they sell medicine will be able to register domain names in .pharmacy. For example, a pharmacy that is licensed in another country and is selling prescription drugs to patients in the United States would not be eligible for .pharmacy because it is violating US federal law that prohibits importation. The .pharmacy eligibility requirements were developed to address concerns shared by domestic and international stakeholders about illegal online drug sellers distributing products that endanger patient health worldwide.
More information about NABP and the .Pharmacy gTLD Program, including program updates and a request-for-information form for entities seeking a .pharmacy gTLD, is available at the .pharmacy website. The full press release is available in the News section of the .pharmacy website.