NABP announces general availability for .pharmacy

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MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — Next week, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) plans to make the .pharmacy domain name generally available.

NABP said late Tuesday that all pharmacies and pharmacy-related entities may apply for .pharmacy domain names starting June 3. The association began accepting .pharmacy applications from dispensing pharmacies on April 1.

Applications for the final limited registration period for all dispensing pharmacies are currently being evaluated and approved, according to NABP, which added that applicants were eligible to register their domain names as early as May 1.

NABP launched the .pharmacy top-level domain (TLD) program last September to give consumers worldwide an easy way to identify safe, legal online pharmacies and related resources. Since the program’s launch, NABP has approved more than 300 .pharmacy domain names applied for or requested during prior limited-registration periods.

Except for entities that are already accredited as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) or Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (Vet-VIPPS) sites or are NABP e-Advertiser-approved, those seeking a .pharmacy domain name must first submit an application, supporting documentation and an application fee to NABP. The association then will evaluate the materials to ensure compliance with program standards. As part of the application process, the content of the proposed website must be available for review by NABP.

NABP added that it’s establishing a network of international regulatory groups to facilitate evaluation of international domain name applications. Once approved, applicants will be able to register their domain name via an approved registrar.

In a review of nearly 11,000 websites that sell prescription medication online, NABP found that 96% don’t follow pharmacy laws and standards established to protect the public health. The association noted that it will grant the use of the .pharmacy domain only to legitimate website operators that adhere to pharmacy laws in the jurisdictions where they are based and their patients and customers reside.


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