The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to own and operate the new .PHARMACY generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD).
NABP has announced it has applied for the generic Too-Level Domain .PHARMACY as a "community-based application representing legitimate online pharmacies and prescription drug-related organizations worldwide in order to ensure that only legitimate Web site 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. "
“The .PHARMACY registry will help us to further protect patients who choose to purchase medications online,” states NABP President Michael A. Burleson, RPh. “We will do this by vetting all registrants prior to acceptance so as to ensure that they meet all applicable regulatory standards, including pharmacy licensure, drug authenticity, and valid prescription requirements. NABP is uniquely positioned to accomplish this due to its long history of protecting patients from illegal pharmacies through its VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) accreditation program, which has been accrediting online pharmacies since 1999. Additionally, through its Internet Drug Outlet Identification program, NABP has reviewed more than 9,800 Web sites selling prescription drugs to determine if they are operating legitimately. A list of the ‘Not Recommended’ sites, as well as a list of VIPPS pharmacies, is available for consumers to review and make an educated choice about where they can safely purchase their medications.”
As of June 1, 2012, NABP had reviewed 9,837 Internet drug outlets selling prescription medications and found 97% of the total number of sites reviewed were out of compliance with US pharmacy laws and practice standards. Of these 9,509 Web sites identified as Not Recommended, nearly half offer foreign or non-FDA-approved drugs, and many of these distribute dangerous counterfeits to unsuspecting consumers.
NABP will launch a public awareness campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of buying medicine from unknown sources over the Internet and to help build their trust in .PHARMACY sites.
NABP has applied as a representative of the global pharmacy community, which includes independent community pharmacies, chain drug stores, Internet pharmacies, schools and colleges of pharmacy, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and wholesale distributors of prescription medications. Among the coalition of stakeholders supporting this initative are the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, International Pharmaceutical Federation, National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, and the state boards of pharmacy.