Bad Medicine: Check Your Online Pharmacy

Some of the most dangerous fake web sites are online pharmacies that sell medications that are illegal to purchase without a prescription. Their products are often diluted or even completely counterfeit versions of the real medication. Also, these rouge sites often steal their customers’ financial and personal information.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP, http://www.nabp.net) certifies pharmacy sites with its VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) accreditation program. In July 2012, it released the results of its investigation of over 10,000 online pharmacies. It found that an astonishing 97% of them do not comply with pharmacy laws and practice standards.

NABP urges buyers to use only those online pharmacies that merit its VIPSS seal of approval. It hosts a list of verified pharmacies on its site: http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/recommended-sites/NABP. It also certifies online veterinary pharmacies with its program called Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, http://www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vet-vipps/find-a-vet-vipps-online-pharmacy/). NAPB also maintains a list of known rogue sites: http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/not-recommended-sites/.

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