- What is wrong with using just any pharmacy website to buy cheaper medicine?
- Can I get cheap prices from pharmacies outside the US?
- What are the signs of a suspiciously operating pharmacy?
- Why should I trust a .pharmacy verified website?
- I don’t see .pharmacy in a website’s address. Is it still safe?
- Who regulates US pharmacy websites?
- How are international pharmacy websites regulated?
NABP E-Profile Assistance
- What is an e-Profile ID and how do I obtain one?
- Is an e-Profile ID required for accreditation or verification through NABP?
- How can I confirm if I (or my facility) already have an e-Profile ID?
1. What is wrong with using just any pharmacy website to buy cheaper medicine?
Only 5% of the almost 12,000 websites we’ve reviewed operate legally and safely. This means that if you choose the first pharmacy website that pops up in a search, you will most likely encounter a company that could send you counterfeit medications or steal your personal information.
Additionally, 89% of these rogue sites do not require a valid prescription. That’s dangerous, because you could be seriously harmed if you’re not taking the proper medicine for your specific health condition or being monitored by a health care professional.
2. Can I get cheap prices from pharmacies outside the US?
You might, but the real cost could be your health. Through our research, we have found that most sites (63%) have no company headquarters listed, which means they don’t want you to know that they likely operate out of a country with substandard drug safety criteria. “Substandard criteria” means that the drugs usually aren’t manufactured with the same safety standards as FDA-inspected facilities, or that the drugs are stored and shipped in conditions that could render them ineffective and dangerous. Also, don’t be fooled by websites that claim to be Canadian. In our review such sites, 74% sourced drugs from outside of Canada.
3. What are the signs of a suspiciously operating pharmacy?
Learning the signs that point to suspect pharmacies can help you protect yourself from rogue internet sites. Sites with any of the characteristics listed below may be selling prescription drugs that are counterfeit, contaminated, or otherwise unsafe.
- No prescription is required.
- They’ll give you a prescription based solely upon an online questionnaire.
- The site doesn’t list a phone number or street address or only allows you to communicate with them via email.
- No pharmacist is available to answer your questions.
- They make you sign a waiver that might place you in legal jeopardy.
- They offer only a limited number of medicines or only a specific type of medicine, such as controlled substances or weight-loss drugs.
- They send you spam that could infect your computer with viruses or hack personal information.
4. Why should I trust a .pharmacy verified website?
Websites that are verified through NABP’s .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program have undergone a thorough evaluation to ensure they meet our program standards. These standards require the company to be licensed in good standing, comply with local, state, and federal regulations, and follow safe prescription practices. You can be assured that only websites that meet the highest standards are .pharmacy-verified.
5. I don’t see .pharmacy in a website’s address. Is it still safe?
It might be. Some websites that are verified choose not to display .pharmacy in their web addresses. To ensure a website is NABP-verified, you can check our list of .Pharmacy Verified Websites. You can also check whether the website is on our Not Recommended Sites list.
6. Who regulates US pharmacy websites?
State boards of pharmacy are primarily responsible for regulating pharmacy websites within their jurisdictions. Only individual state boards of pharmacy and state boards of medicine have authority to discipline or revoke a license. Federal agencies such as FDA and DEA partner with these boards when applicable; however, FDA mainly regulates foreign-based sites and practitioners.
NABP does not regulate pharmacy websites, but it passes on reports of suspicious activity to the appropriate regulatory body. To report such activity, you may fill out our “Report a Suspicious Internet Pharmacy Site” form or contact your state board of pharmacy directly.
7. How are international pharmacy websites regulated?
Online sites located outside the US pose the greatest challenges for state and federal regulators. Cooperation with other nations and their regulatory agencies has been and continues to be the key to regulating online international pharmacy sites. NABP is working with a number of international regulatory agencies to establish the .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program for pharmacy websites in those countries.
NABP E-Profile Assistance
1. What is an e-Profile ID and how do I obtain one?
The NABP e-Profile ID is the unique identifier that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students, and other individuals receive when they create an NABP e-Profile account through the Association’s online registration system. The NABP e-Profile system allows individuals to easily manage their participation in NABP programs including tracking continuing pharmacy education through CPE Monitor, examination registration and score results, licensure transfer, and publication ordering. If you need any of these services, you may create your NABP e-Profile.
If you are only creating an e-Profile because your company is seeking an accreditation or verification, select CPE Monitor in the profile creation process. You will not be obligated to go past the security question screens on the profile creation page, but you will receive an e-Profile ID. However, if you are an individual that must earn CPE to satisfy license or registration requirements, you must continue on to the CPE Monitor section of the NABP e-Profile system if you want to ensure that you are fully registered in the CPE Monitor program.
2. Is an e-Profile ID required for accreditation or verification through NABP?
Yes. NABP now requires pharmacists involved in any of its accreditation or verification programs, including those associated with accredited businesses undergoing renewal, reaccreditation, or reverification, to have an e-Profile ID. If you have not done so already, you can sign up for an NABP e-Profile account.
Additionally, NABP is in the process of assigning e-Profile IDs to facilities. While most facilities do not yet possess an e-Profile ID, soon it will be a requirement for those involved in any NABP program. If your facility has had a VPP inspection, you already have an e-Profile ID assigned to it and you may contact VPP staff via email at VPP@nabp.pharmacy for more information.
3. How can I confirm if I (or my facility) already have an e-Profile ID?
If you are a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, pharmacy student, or other individual, you can use the “Forgot username?” or “Forgot Password?” links on the NABP e-Profile page to recover your account log in information if you have one.
Unless your facility has been VPP inspected or has interfaced with NABP through some other NABP-sponsored program, it is unlikely it will have its own NABP e-Profile ID. If your facility has been VPP inspected, you may contact VPP@nabp.pharmacy for more information.