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Confusion, complaints drive online Rx certification

Article

Complaints against online veterinary pharmacies fueled the formation of a new certification program.

National Report — Complaints against online veterinary pharmacies fueled the formation of a new certification program.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy formed the certification program called Vet-VIPPS, after learning several state boards of pharmacy received complaints against Internet sites dispensing prescription drugs without a veterinarian-patient/client relationship.

The Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (Vet-VIPPS) is meant to evaluate and accredit legitimately operating online veterinary pharmacy practice sites that dispense medication for companion and non-food-producing animals.

Vet-VIPPS was created to assist states in their efforts to maintain control over the Internet-based distribution of prescription drugs and devices as well as hold Internet veterinary drug distributors accountable for meeting patient/client safety practice standards.

"This will help validate the growing number of veterinary pharmacies applying for licenses in the states," says Carmen A. Catizone, NABP executive director.

Catizone is hopeful NABP can accredit some pharmacies by the end of the year, if not early 2010.

The Vet-VIPPS criteria, based on the association's original VIPPS® criteria, will incorporate new criteria specific to veterinary pharmacies.

Pharmacies that dispense medications for food-producing animals are not eligible to receive accreditation.

"We have received a lot of support within the veterinary community," Catizone says. "There has been a lot of confusion surrounding these pharmacies and what one camp thinks is acceptable and the other camp does not. This will help clarify things for everyone."

More information go to www.nabp.net.

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