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5,000 Web Sites Selling Prescription Drugs Outside of Pharmacy Laws and Practice Standards
Date:12/28/2009

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On December 11, 2009, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy(R) (NABP(R)) reached a bitter-sweet milestone in its ongoing review of Web sites selling prescription medications. NABP now lists more than 5,000 Internet drug outlets as Not Recommended. These sites -- 96% of the total number of sites reviewed -- have been found to be out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards established in the United States to protect the public health.

"There is a common misconception that prescription medications purchased from any Web site calling itself a pharmacy are safe," says NABP President Gary A. Schnabel, RN, RPh. "Patients have grown to trust prescription medications in the US because the manufacturing and supply systems are tightly regulated to ensure safety. What many patients fail to realize, however, is that when buying medications from unknown sources online, those safeguards vanish, and the odds of getting counterfeit or substandard medication rise substantially."

Of the 5,231 Internet drug outlets NABP had assessed since the May 2008 launch of its Internet drug outlet review program, 5,008 (96%) of the sites were found to be out of compliance with basic criteria for legitimate pharmacy practice and were posted as Not Recommended on the NABP Web site. Of the 5,008 sites listed as Not Recommended:

  • More than 75% (4,029) dispense drugs without a valid prescription.
  • More than half (2,762) accept a brief online questionnaire in place of a prescription. To be valid, and to ensure patient safety, a prescription must be based on a legitimate patient-practitioner relationship that has included a face-to-face physical examination.
  • Nearly 25% (1,327) post a physical address located outside the US.
  • Nearly half (2,436) do not provide any physical address. According to the World Health Organization, more than 50% of med
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SOURCE National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
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