.PHARMACY Set To Give Greater Confidence Searching Online For Pharmaceuticals

One of the touted benefits of the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) has been that it could give online consumers greater confidence that who they are dealing with online is actually who they are.And the financial industry is one area. The introduction of a .BANK has the potential to give consumers greater confidence they are dealing with a legitimate financial company. However discussions within the banking industry for their own gTLD appear to be going nowhere for a variety of reasons.But the pharmaceutical industry appears to have grasped the potential with FairWinds Partners announcing they are working with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to submit an application for a .PHARMACY gTLD to “make a vast improvement in the way patients search for prescription drugs online.””This is a community-based application submitted on behalf of the pharmacy community, including independent community pharmacies, chain drug stores, Internet pharmacies, schools and colleges of pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and wholesale distributors of prescription medications, for the benefit of the health care community and patients worldwide,” say FairWinds on their gTLD Strategy blog. “The goal of .PHARMACY is to provide those individuals – pharmacists, doctors, nurses, caregivers, patients, and others – a secure space in which to search for information about or purchase prescription drugs online without having to worry about cybercrime or receiving counterfeit drugs.””Currently, online pharmacies rely on the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM (VIPPS®) accreditation program, to demonstrate to Internet users that they are safe and legitimate sites. VIPPS-accredited pharmacies are identified by the VIPPS seal that is displayed on their sites. While the authentic VIPPS seal links to the NABP website, the problem is, illegal online drug peddlers can, and do, simply copy the VIPPS logo and paste it on their sites to dupe unwitting consumers.”By contrast, by operating .PHARMACY as a restricted registry, NABP can properly vet each and every .PHARMACY site to ensure that it truly is legitimate, and can take enforcement action against any that do not meet its standards. It will also rely on LegitScript to verify, monitor, and enforce against rogue sites. These efforts, when combined with a public awareness campaign, can go a long way in protecting Internet users from the dangers posed by illegal online drug sellers and harmful counterfeit drugs.”