VIPPS stands for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, a program which was formed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) back in 1999 to help customers to buy only from legitimate online pharmacies. NABP decided to form this program as a response to the rising number of scam pharmacy websites that target unsuspecting customers on the web. These sites defraud the customers by using their credit card numbers and personal information for making duplicitous transactions without the customer’s knowledge. These scammer-operated online drugstores use the appearance of Canadian pharmacy sites to deceive more people since Canada pharmacies are known for being reliable and excellent pharmacies.

NABP

NABP

Unfortunately, the NABP is an association that is only concerned with the US-based online pharmacies and its VIPPS program is not applicable to online pharmacies outside of the US. But to help the customers avoid the dangers of shopping medicines from unverified sites, NABP advices them to buy their medicines only from pharmacy websites that has the VIPPS seal. But the pharmacy sites with the VIPPS seal are mostly online extensions of corporate drugstore chains which sell expensive meds. And since there’s no VIPPS-approved pharmacy that sells cheap medicines, customers are still left with no choice but to purchase their drugs from pharmacies which are based in Canada.

VIPPS is a very successful program in the US since it has exposed many pharmacies that are operating illegally. All online pharmacies within the US that seek to operate legitimately must adhere to the requirements that are given by the NABP for them to receive the VIPPS seal on their sites. The VIPPS seal is what the customers should look for when browsing US-based pharmacy sites because it is the proof that the site has been verified and sanctioned by NABP to conduct its operations. The criteria and standards that it asks for are quite lengthy but all necessary since customer safety is the priority of the VIPPS program. These requirements include acquiring an exclusive license from the NABP, having an existing and valid physical address, complying with all the state-imposed regulations for online pharmacy business and even DEA registration to guarantee that they are compliant with the guidelines for selling federally-controlled substances to the public.

But even if the guidelines and the requirements of the NABP and the VIPPS program is not applicable for Canadian pharmacies, NABP’s counterpart in Canada which is the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) is looking into adopting its policies to subdue the rising numbers of fake drugstores.

NAPRA Website

NAPRA Website

NAPRA is considering to integrate the policy of VIPPS into its requirements on selecting and sanctioning pharmacy sites to make a distinction between the counterfeit ones and the genuine. In this way, the customers from the US will benefit as they will be guaranteed that the Canadian pharmacies they are visiting will be filtered out by the NAPRA, using the conventions of NABP that it has incorporated into its system.

VIPPS-Accredited Pharmacies List – National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

There’s not very much American online pharmacies included on this list and as a matter of fact, there are only 63 different online pharmacy domains which are on the list of VIPPS-accredited pharmacies list. Americans are very particular about the costs of the medicines that they buy and are always looking for the online pharmacies that have the cheapest possible prices to the meds that they need. For this reason, most of the online pharmacies that they are buying from are not on this list since those pharmacies are from outside the US, international and mostly from Canada. The pharmacies on this list made by VIPPS are all good, safe and legal but the prices that they have on their products similar to what the local US drugstores sell. Their prices are still costly and the only advantage of the customers in ordering from them is the convenience of having their orders shipped to their location.

Legal Canadian online pharmacies might not have the accreditation of VIPPS or the approval of the NABP since these are US-based pharmacy regulatory bodies but these are 100% safe sites that serve their customers by providing them quality but cheap medicines. American customers have continued to rely on Canadian online pharmacies because of the great relief they provide in delivering quality but low-cost medication.

How to Buy Medicines Safely from an Online Pharmacy

Safety should the number one priority of every customer when doing online shopping of medicines. The greatest risk that every customer faces is landing on a fake pharmacy and getting their credit card numbers stolen and used for fraudulent transactions. To avoid this kind of danger, customers should never use their debit cards when making transactions with online pharmacies. Credit cards are much better since the customers can always cancel and dispute the charges made in them compared to debit cards where it’s much difficult to recover stolen funds. Fixed-limit credit cards are much better to use since its capacity is only for a set amount and its users can never go over the limit.

How Do I Know if an Online Pharmacy is Legitimate?

With the help of fraud-checking websites, it is now easier to determine if an online pharmacy is legitimate. Users simply have to take the domain name of a pharmacy website and run it on its database to find out. The resources of the scam detection sites are able to pull up an online pharmacy’s complete background information and reveal to the customers the real data behind them. It’s a good way of knowing a pharmacy site’s real physical location, origin, administrator, and others, allowing the customers to know if the pharmacies are what they say they are. If there’s a mismatch, the site is likely to be a rogue pharmacy.

Summary

VIPPS is a program which is instituted by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to help customers avoid fake pharmacies and lead them to safe and genuine pharmacy stores. Although Canadian pharmacies are outside of its jurisdiction, NABP’s counterpart which is the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) is contemplating to adopt the VIPPS program into its system to filter out the genuine Canadian pharmacies from the counterfeit. Customers can also check our top recommended providers for reliable online pharmacies.