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How to Safely Buy Medicines Online
79 percent of 10,000 online pharmacies surveyed do not meet industry standards.
Know Your Source
The same organization responsible for the compliance of your neighborhood pharmacy has created the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) accreditation program to help you safely navigate the online marketplace. VIPPS vets online pharmacies based on a set of stringent criteria that ensures patient confidentiality, the distribution of accurate medical information, and the integrity and appropriate handling of prescription medications.
According to Pfizer’s Director of Global Security Brian Donnelly, “The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has earned our trust over the past 40 years. The chances of purchasing a counterfeit from a brick and mortar pharmacy in the United States are extremely small. The NABP’s VIPPS program is intended to extend this sense of security to the online marketplace, where we know sometimes unregulated sites selling prescription pharmaceuticals are active.”
The VIPPS website offers links to NABP approved online pharmacies, and also provides answers to frequently asked questions and a portal to report suspicious online pharmacies. “Do not trust a website simply because it displays the VIPPS seal,” Donnelly cautions. “A rogue pharmacy can easily lift the VIPPS logo and feature it on their site to trick consumers. Go through the VIPPS website to be absolutely sure you know your source.”
Pfizer is a global leader in providing information regarding the dangers of counterfeit medicines, and has joined with other pharmaceutical companies to seek solutions to the problem of fake medicines through the Pharma Security Institute, a consortium founded by 14 leading pharmaceutical companies, among other efforts. For more information about the dangers of counterfeit medicines or if you suspect you have purchased counterfeits, go to the Counterfeits and Importing webpage on Pfizer.com.