The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) is currently reviewing .pharmacy domain name applications received from trademark holders who are registered in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). The Sunrise Application period, which ended January 19, 2015, preceded the TMCH Sunrise Registration Period, which will end March 16, 2015. Only those companies who submitted qualifying applications during the Sunrise Application Period will be approved to register .pharmacy domain names during the Sunrise Registration Period. To be approved, applicants must demonstrate that they adhere to standards and policies that were developed by a global coalition of stakeholders, including the International Pharmaceutical Federation. NABP launched the .pharmacy Top-Level Domain (TLD) to provide consumers around the world a means for easily identifying safe and legal online pharmacies and related resources.
Following the Sunrise Application and Registration periods are two more special registration periods before General Availability begins on June 3:
- Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites® (VIPPS®), Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites® (Vet-VIPPS®), and NABP e-Advertiser ApprovalCM Limited Registration Period
- February 17, 2015 – March 16, 2015: Entities that are accredited through NABP’s VIPPS or Vet-VIPPS programs, or approved through the e-Advertiser Approval program may submit domain name requests to NABP
- March 17, 2015 – April 1, 2015: VIPPS, Vet-VIPPS, and e-Advertiser entities may register their domain name(s) through an approved registrar
- Dispensing Pharmacy Limited Registration Period
- April 1, 2015 – April 30, 2015: Pharmacies that dispense medications may submit an application to NABP
- April 30, 2015 – June 2, 2015: Approved dispensing pharmacies may register their domain name(s) through an approved registrar
General Availability, which will begin on June 3, 2015, is when all entities providing pharmacy-related products, services, or information that meet .pharmacy eligibility standards will be able to apply for and register the domain.
Except for those already VIPPS- or Vet-VIPPS-accredited or e-Advertiser-approved, entities seeking a .pharmacy domain name must first submit an application, supporting documentation, and an application fee to NABP. NABP will evaluate these materials to ensure compliance with program standards. NABP is establishing a network of international regulatory groups to facilitate evaluation of international domain name applications. Once approved, applicants will be able to register the domain name through an approved registrar.
Of the tens of thousands of sites selling prescription drugs online, NABP has reviewed over 10,800 and found that nearly 97% do not follow pharmacy laws and standards established to protect the public health. NABP will grant use of the .pharmacy domain only to legitimate website operators that adhere to pharmacy laws in the jurisdictions in which they are based and in which their patients and customers reside, so that consumers can easily find safe online pharmacies.
Additional information about the .Pharmacy TLD Program, as well as information about buying medicine safely online is available at www.safe.pharmacy.
NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its state member boards and jurisdictions for the purpose of protecting the public health.