VIPPS Accreditation Process Overview

Is Your Pharmacy ready for the VIPPS accreditation process? Review the guidelines before you start the application. The accreditation process includes the following steps:

  • You must first apply and obtain verification through the .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program and have at least one active .pharmacy domain name prior to applying through VIPPS. You can use .pharmacy as the primary domain or as a redirect to the verified website.
  • You submit an application, required documentation, and specified fees to us
  • We review policies, procedures, and other documentation to ensure adherence to VIPPS criteria
  • We verify the pharmacy’s license status
  • We perform an on-site survey

Steps for VIPPS Accreditation

  1. Obtain verification through the .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program. Prior to applying for VIPPS accreditation, all prospective applicants must first obtain .pharmacy verification. If your pharmacy website(s) is not .pharmacy-verified and you have applied for VIPPS, your application will be canceled. If you have not done so, apply online now to avoid any further delay in obtaining VIPPS accreditation.
  2. Confirm that your pharmacy is ready for the VIPPS accreditation process.
    Making sure your pharmacy is ready for the accreditation is an important and often overlooked step in the process. Save time later by reviewing the guidelines before you start the application.
  3. Submit an application, required documentation, and specified fees to NABP
    Review the VIPPS Criteria and Application Instructions before applying. The instructions will provide important guidance; policy and procedure information; payment details; the disclaimer; and a detailed list of required, supporting documentation. In addition, the instructions detail important information to have on hand before starting the application:
  • Pharmacy information
  • Ownership information
  • Major investor information
  • Services and products
  • Licensure maintenance information
  • Supplemental documents

While completing the online application, you will also be asked to pay the applicable fee and accept the terms of our VIPPS refund policy.

  1. We review policies, procedures, and other documentation to ensure adherence to VIPPS criteria
    We will review the pharmacy’s policies and procedures for compliance with VIPPS criteria, and notice will be sent to the applicant if discrepancies arise or clarification is needed. The applicant will have an opportunity for remediation.
  2. We verify the pharmacy’s license status
    We verify that all necessary state and pharmacy licenses and pharmacist-in-charge licenses are in good standing.  We will also check the NABP Clearinghouse to determine disciplinary actions levied against the pharmacy and pharmacists in charge. Notice will be sent to the applicant if discrepancies arise or clarification is needed. The applicant will have an opportunity for remediation.
  3. We perform an on-site survey
    Experienced surveyors evaluate your operations, survey your pharmacy, and interview staff. At this time, all supporting documentation will be verified.

Steps for Maintaining Your VIPPS Accreditation

  1. Annual renewals. During the second and third years after the initial accreditation, VIPPS-accredited pharmacies undergo annual reviews of the pharmacy’s business information, facility and PIC licensure, and sources of prescription drugs. Additionally, the .pharmacy domain must be maintained and its registration renewed annually.
  2. Reaccreditation. On the fourth year after initial accreditation, VIPPS-accredited pharmacies undergo reaccreditation, which includes a policy and procedure review, and an on-site survey(s), along with license verification and a review of sources of prescription drugs. Similar to the annual renewal periods, the .pharmacy domain must be maintained and its registration renewed during the reaccreditation.

Fees

The cost of VIPPS accreditation is dependent on the type of pharmacy seeking accreditation. The fee schedule outlines the cost based on the size and services of a pharmacy. Currently, VIPPS applicants fall into three categories:

The application fee, plus any applicable administrative fees, is due with the application submission. An invoice will be issued if an incorrect fee is submitted.

The annual participation fee, plus any applicable administrative fees, is due prior to renewal of accreditation.

Independent Community-Based Pharmacy (Schedule A)

A pharmacy with three or fewer stores, only licensed and doing business in its home state, receiving or facilitating orders to purchase prescription drugs over the internet from patients located in the home state.

Total Application Fee = $6,000

  • $3,000 application fee (which includes the first year’s annual participation fee)
  • $3,000 survey fee

An annual participation fee is assessed after the first year of accreditation.

  • $2,000 if a non-resurvey year
  • $5,000 if a survey year ($2,000 annual participation fee + $3,000 resurvey fees)

Chain Drugstore, Mass Retailer, HMO Pharmacy, PBM Pharmacy (Schedule B)

A pharmacy licensed in more than three states, receiving or facilitating orders to purchase prescription drugs over the internet from patients in only those states in which the pharmacy is licensed.

Total Application Fee = $8,000

  • $5,000 application fee (which includes the first year’s annual participation fee)
  • $3,000 survey fee

An annual participation fee is assessed after the first year of accreditation.

  • $4,000 if a non-survey year
  • $7,000 if a survey year ($4,000 annual participation fee + $3,000 resurvey fees)

Independent Pharmacy (Schedule C)

A pharmacy with an internet practice that is limited to one to three states (states doing business in/shipping into one to three pharmacy licenses), receiving or facilitating orders to purchase prescription drugs over the internet from patients located in only the three licensed states.

Total Application Fee = $5,000

  • $2,000 application fee (which includes the first year’s annual participation fee)
  • $3,000 survey fee

An annual participation fee is assessed after the first year of accreditation.

  • $1,000 if a non-survey year
  • $4,000 if a survey year ($1,000 annual participation fee + $3,000 resurvey fees)

Additional Fees

Administrative fees may be assessed for the following occurances:

  • Time extension requests
  • Protracted policy and procedure (P&P) reviews
  • Delays related to survey scheduling
  • Protracted survey remediation
  • Ownership change processing

This list is not all-inclusive.

Additionally, an applicant for VIPPS accreditation or a VIPPS-accredited entity that has more than five dispensing facilities must submit an additional fee of $600 with the application and the annual participation fee.

An applicant for VIPPS accreditation or a VIPPS-accredited entity that has more than one dispensing facility may require additional surveys to confirm compliance with program criteria. In this case, the applicant may be subject to additional survey fees.

A portion of the VIPPS application fees cover a complete review of one set of policies and procedures. If an applicant has more than one set of policies and procedures that need to be reviewed (such as those that are site-specific), additional administrative fees of up to $1,000 per set will be assessed; fees are determined by the number of documents that need to be reviewed. If, at any point during the application or post-accreditation process, the scope of the pharmacy changes (i.e., ownership, location, types of products offered) or the policies and procedures undergo revisions, these documents may need to be resubmitted and reviewed at cost.

We reserve the right to levy administrative fees for extraordinary processing related to an application.

Acquiring or Opening Facilities

We must be notified when an applicant or accredited organization opens a new pharmacy facility. A $400 processing fee must be submitted for each new or added facility. Please contact us via email at VIPPS@nabp.pharmacy for information on the fees for newly acquired pharmacy facilities.