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NABP sets date for .pharmacy applications

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MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) plans to start accepting applications for .pharmacy domain names from all dispensing pharmacies on April 1.

Applications from dispensing pharmacies will be accepted until April 30, and approved pharmacies may begin to register their requested .pharmacy domains as early as that date, NABP said.

General availability — when any entity with a pharmacy or pharmacy-related website can apply and, if approved, register for a .pharmacy domain name — is scheduled to begin on June 3.

NABP launched the .pharmacy  top-level domain (TLD) program in September to provide consumers worldwide with an easy way to identify safe, legal online pharmacies and related resources. Since the program’s launch, the association has approved about 275 .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.

Of the tens of thousands of sites selling prescription drugs online, NABP has reviewed over 10,900 and found that nearly 97% don’t follow pharmacy laws and standards created to protect the public health. The association noted that it will grant use of the .pharmacy domain only to legitimate website operators that adhere to pharmacy laws in the jurisdictions in which they are based and in which their patients and customers reside.


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