Internet drug outlets that dont comply with federal and state laws could be dangerous for patients who purchase drugs through their Web sites, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
The independent, international association launched a new section of its Web site to monitor Internet pharmacies and in its first wave of scrutiny labeled 79 sites not recommended for being out of compliance with regulations and pharmacy-practice standards, the association said in a news release. The monitoring program, funded through a Pfizer grant, was born from a 2007 resolution by the NABP to raise awareness about Internet pharmacy safety. As part of the program, the association said it will provide information on its findings to state and federal regulators to shut down noncompliant sites.
Most of the 79 identified sites do not require patients to have a valid U.S. prescription, and many offer foreign or non-Food and Drug Administration approved drugs that are illegal to sell in the U.S. About half the sites have a physical address located outside the U.S. The NABP is conducting a verification process of another 200 suspicious sites before adding any of them to its not recommended list. Out of the hundreds of Internet drug outlets studied so far through the program, only nine were potentially legitimate, the NABP said.
The association recommends patients buy drugs from Internet sites that are accredited through its Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program.