Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 - NewsMaker

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- Jun 16, 2015 -- Counterfeit medications are fake drugs that may be contaminated or contain the wrong ingredients. In many circumstances, they contain too much, too little, or no medication at all -- putting one at risk for overdose or leaving medical conditions untreated. This can lead to serious illness and even death. Today, the vast majority of websites selling prescription drugs online are doing so illegally -- many sites sell unapproved or fake medications to unsuspecting consumers. In order to combat this problem and help consumers find safe and legitimate online pharmacy sources, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) has launched the new Top-Level Domain, .pharmacy.

At a time when almost everything is available at your fingertips via the Internet, it's no surprise consumers are turning to online pharmacies to purchase medication. The problem is that rogue online pharmacies are prevalent and may sell harmful counterfeit medications containing rat poison, glue, chalk, drywall, or other toxic fillers. To make matters worse, it can be difficult to tell the difference between real and counterfeit drugs just by looking at them. Just as they make the fake drugs that look real, many of these rogue online pharmacies have sites that appear professional and safe making it hard to identify which websites are legitimate. In fact, NABP has reviewed nearly 11,000 Internet drug outlets selling prescription medications and found 96% are out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards!

The 10,544 Internet drug outlets currently listed as Not Recommended by NABP are characterized as follows:

  • 88% do not require a valid prescription
  • 59% issue prescriptions per online consultation or questionnaire only
  • 16% do not have secure sites
  • 12% dispense controlled substances

You should also be aware of the signs of a rogue website. Sites with any of the characteristics listed below may be selling prescription drugs that are counterfeit, contaminated, or otherwise unsafe:

  • No prescription required
  • Prescription based solely upon online questionnaire
  • No phone number or street address
  • No pharmacist consultation
  • Limited medicines
  • Spam solicitations

You can be confident that you are receiving safe medications when you purchase from a website with a .pharmacy domain name. These sites are legitimate, operate legally, and meet standards set by a global coalition that includes International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Canada's National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA), and NABP, which has supported the United States boards of pharmacy in their goal of protecting the public health since 1904.

Know the signs and keep your families safe! For more information and a list of sites that have been approved to register the .pharmacy domain, please visit

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®), the impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health, is spearheading the .pharmacy initiative. NABP received support on many levels from stakeholders who believe NABP to be the best equipped to establish the .pharmacy domain as a secure and trustworthy destination where consumers around the globe can be sure they are buying medications from legitimately operating online pharmacies.

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Larissa Doucette 
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Connect360 MultiMedia 
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