Recently, NABP discovered that the Internet drug outlet, WellnessFitnessNutrition, LLP (WFN), was fraudulently claiming to hold certain NABP certifications. Along with text claiming that the site was NABP certified, WFN posted a letter on its website that falsely claimed that WFN and its affiliate, “Dr Hector R. Rodriguez,” were certified to practice pharmacy pursuant to the NABP “Foreign and National [sic] Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee” certification program. As of the morning of March 4, 2014, that letter has been removed from the WFN site. For more than 25 years, NABP has successfully operated the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee™ (FPGEC®) program, which certifies qualifying pharmacists who are educated outside of the US. NABP has no record of certifying a Hector R. Rodriguez through the FPGEC program.
Additionally, NABP has never accredited WFN through its pharmacy accreditation programs or approved the site through the NABP e-Advertiser ApprovalCM program. Further, NABP never received an application for such programs from WFN. In fact, WFN would not qualify because it offers to sell, without a prescription, prescription drugs such as antibiotics, anabolic steroids, and growth hormones.
NABP will continue to monitor the site and its affiliated sites to identify any further misuse of NABP trademarks or any false information related to NABP.
The fraudulent claims on the WFN website illustrate the importance of NABP’s efforts to implement the .pharmacy domain, which will provide a safe place on the Internet for consumers seeking to purchase medications from legitimate online pharmacies. As the registry operator, NABP will require that registrars approved to sell .pharmacy domain names notify Internet pharmacy registrants that they must comply with all applicable laws and provide proof that they are licensed to operate and practice pharmacy. NABP has been deemed eligible to enter contract negotiations with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to own and operate the .pharmacy domain suffix.
The .pharmacy initiative reinforces other existing NABP programs that seek to promote buying prescription drugs safely online. For example, since 1999, NABP has been helping consumers find safe Internet pharmacies in the US through the VIPPS® (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM) accreditation program. When buying medications online, consumers are encouraged to look for the VIPPS Seal and to check NABP’s list of accredited sites on the Recommended VIPPS Online Pharmacies page of the AWARXE®website.