NABP Welcomes Yahoo! to Pool of Search Engines Requiring VIPPS Accreditation for Internet Pharmacy Advertisers

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill., June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) congratulates Yahoo! for its recent decision to improve its standards for Internet pharmacies seeking to advertise online. This week, Yahoo! joins two other major search engines in requiring Internet pharmacies advertising in the United States to be accredited through the VIPPS(CM) (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites(CM)) program. Under Yahoo!'s new policy, Internet pharmacies that are not accredited by VIPPS will no longer be permitted to display advertisements in Yahoo!'s US Sponsored Search results.

"On behalf of the state boards of pharmacy, NABP is pleased to see Yahoo! taking steps to protect the public health against rogue Internet drug outlets," says NABP President William T. Winsley, MS, RPh. "We congratulate Yahoo! on its conscientious decision to hold pharmacy advertisers accountable to the laws established in the US to protect patient health."

Including Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft's Bing.com, three major search engines now limit their online pharmacy advertisers to those that are VIPPS-accredited. Google implemented its policy on March 1, 2010, and Microsoft and Yahoo! followed suit on June 7.

Since the advent of its VIPPS program more than a decade ago, NABP has been working to protect patients from rogue Internet drug outlets that circumvent pharmacy laws and practice standards established to protect patient health. In February 2008, NABP began an intensive study of Web sites selling prescription drugs and has found that, of the more than 5,000 Internet drug outlets NABP has reviewed, 96% appear to be out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards. These sites dispense dangerous prescription drugs to patients without a valid prescription or medical oversight. The drugs are often unapproved for sale in the US – or any other developed country – and are often substandard, contaminated, or counterfeit.

By contrast, VIPPS-accredited pharmacies have undergone and successfully completed the NABP accreditation process, which includes a thorough review of all policies and procedures regarding the practice of pharmacy and dispensing of medicine over the Internet, as well as an on-site inspection of all facilities used by the site to receive, review, and dispense medicine. For this reason, NABP recommends that patients use VIPPS-accredited Internet pharmacies when buying medicine online.

Because the VIPPS accreditation program is structured to address licensed pharmacies engaged in the practice of pharmacy and a full range of defined business activities online, NABP has developed a complementary program, the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program, that identifies legitimate Internet advertisers that offer only limited pharmacy services or other prescription drug-related services online.

More information on the VIPPS program, along with a list of VIPPS-accredited pharmacies, is available under Accreditation Programs on the NABP Web site, http://www.nabp.net.

NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health.

SOURCE National Association of Boards of Pharmacy



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