NABP Program Alerts Consumers to Dangers of Rogue Internet Drug Sites, Stresses Vital Role of Pharmacists in Patient Care
MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AWARxE, a consumer protection program provided by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®), encourages patients not to compromise on quality of care when buying medications online. Similarly, the core message for this year's American Pharmacists Month, "know your medicine, know your pharmacist," highlights the pharmacist's important role in patient health care outcomes.
The AWARxE program aims to educate patients on the safe and effective use of their medications, and pharmacist care is a vital part of that equation, explains NABP President William T. Winsley, MS, RPh. "Whether the pharmacy is online or around the corner, consumers should be able to trust that a licensed, qualified pharmacist is there to ensure they are getting the right medication, at the right dose, that is appropriate for their condition, and to answer any questions or address any problems they might have."
The Internet provides consumers with a convenient option to interact with their pharmacy remotely. A legitimate Internet pharmacy will treat patients with the same care and guidance as the neighborhood brick-and-mortar pharmacy. The fact is, however, many Web sites selling prescription drugs are not what they appear to be. Through extensive research, AWARxE finds that as many as 96% of Web sites selling prescription drugs are out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards established in the United States to protect patient health. Rogue Web sites are all over the Internet, operating as virtual pill peddlers, selling dangerous and addictive drugs indiscriminately to anyone with a credit card, regardless of age or health, and, often, regardless of the safety, efficacy, or authenticity of the drugs they sell.
In keeping with the theme of American Pharmacists Month, AWARxE seeks to impress upon consumers that today's pharmacists are highly trained health care professionals who play a critical role in patient care. As aging patients increasingly rely on multiple prescription drugs to manage chronic ailments, it is more important than ever that they have a trusted resource with specialized knowledge who can help to optimize their medication therapy outcomes.
Empowering consumers to distinguish between Web sites that do, and do not, comply with pharmacy laws and patient care standards, AWARxE advocates the use of Internet pharmacies that are accredited by the VIPPS® (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites(CM)) program. VIPPS accreditation requires an Internet pharmacy to comply with the licensing and survey requirements of its state and each state to which it dispenses pharmaceuticals. VIPPS-accredited pharmacies meet nationally endorsed standards of pharmacy practice, and they demonstrate compliance with standards of privacy and authentication and security of prescriptions, and adhere to quality assurance policy. Moreover, as an essential facet to ensuring public health, they provide meaningful consultation between patients and pharmacists. AWARxE encourages consumers to expect nothing less.
More information on the AWARxE consumer protection program is available at http://www.awarerx.org. American Pharmacist Month, observed throughout the month of October, recognizes the significant contributions to health care and the commitment to patient care by pharmacists in all practice settings nationwide. More information is available on the American Pharmacists Association Web site at http://www.pharmacist.com.
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