We are drafting revised VIPPS Criteria to ensure they are current with state and federal law. If you would like a chance to review the newly revised VIPPS Criteria and provide feedback on the draft, email NABP at VIPPS@nabp.pharmacy. All comments will need to be received by NABP prior to June 21, 2018, to be considered. Read more.
The Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program has been accrediting websites offering pharmacy services since 1999. We recognize the need to help safe and legitimate pharmacies with an internet presence stand out against the ever-growing list of rogue websites – 95 percent of the thousands of online pharmacies that we have reviewed were operating out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards. In addition to letting consumers know that they are on a safe site, VIPPS accreditation offers the following benefits:
- become automatically eligible to participate in paid advertising on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! search engines
- be considered a legitimate pharmacy merchant by Visa and MasterCard for purchases associated with your website
- qualify for certain pharmacy networks who require VIPPS for mail order pharmacies looking to join
- be part of the program that is recognized or required by over twenty state boards of pharmacy
To earn VIPPS accreditation, your pharmacy’s website must first obtain verification through the .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program, and the pharmacy must comply with the licensing and inspection requirements of its state and each state to which it practices pharmacy. In addition, your pharmacy must adhere to a variety of Criteria, including: meet nationally endorsed standards of pharmacy practice; demonstrate compliance with standards of privacy and authentication and security of prescriptions; adhere to a quality assurance policy; and provide meaningful consultation between patients and pharmacists.
VIPPS and the .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program
Effective immediately, all prospective VIPPS applicants must obtain and maintain .pharmacy verification prior to applying for VIPPS accreditation. The .pharmacy domain is like “.com” or “.net,” but only pharmacy and pharmacy-related websites that have been verified by us are allowed to use it. With .pharmacy, the “seal of quality” is built into the web address. Major search engines have taken notice of the program’s powerful simplicity – Google, Yahoo!, and Bing now require a .pharmacy domain to advertise on their search engines. With the .pharmacy domain, you will also be considered a legitimate pharmacy merchant by Visa for purchases associated with your website.
Applicants who do not have .pharmacy verification prior to applying will not be considered for VIPPS accreditation. At the time of application, the .pharmacy domain must be active (used as either the primary domain or redirecting to the verified website) and maintained throughout the VIPPS application process and for as long as the pharmacy is VIPPS-accredited. In addition, the website must comply, at all times, with pharmacy program standards. If multiple websites are to be included in the accreditation, each site must have its own .pharmacy domain name prior to applying through VIPPS.
Vetting for .pharmacy applicants is a two-step process that requires those seeking approval to prove that they are licensed, operating safely, and in accordance with program standards. Once we have granted a company approval to register their website using the .pharmacy domain, we will continue to regularly monitor their site.
More information on applying and registering for a .pharmacy domain name is available at nabp.pharmacy/programs/dotpharmacy/apply/.
VIPPS Criteria Revisions
In addition to the changes noted above, we are drafting revised VIPPS Criteria to ensure they are current with state and federal law, incorporate elements of best pharmacy practice, are clearly written, and are easy to understand. Since the drafted changes are significant, we are inviting pharmacies and other industry stakeholders to provide comments on the proposed changes. Those interested in reviewing the draft revised VIPPS Criteria and providing feedback, email us at VIPPS@nabp.pharmacy expressing your desire to do so. All comments will need to be received prior to June 21, 2018, to be considered. More information will be provided to accredited pharmacies and VIPPS applicants once the revised Criteria are published, including how these changes will impact the program and process.