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Ensure Your Patients Fulfill their Prescriptions Wisely   Jun . 23 . 2014

Recent news from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), serves as a reminder of the importance of getting prescriptions filled by reputable sources. Physicians can play a significant role in guiding their patients to make educated choices about where to fulfill their prescriptions.

The article by NABP addresses recent information released in an article from Time magazine, as well as from a report issued by the World Health Organization, regarding counterfeit medications purchased online. Medication that appears on an unaccredited websites, offering ‘rock-bottom prices,’ states Time, is something to be leery of. Alarmingly, a rough survey by the World Health Organization found that,  “73% of counterfeit medications contained either the wrong ingredient, the wrong dosage, or no active ingredient, while 8% were laced with impurities and contaminants.” The survey also found that “only 15% contained the right dose and the right ingredient.” This is not to say that all online pharmacies are selling ineffective and dangerous drugs. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has created the VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) program to direct consumers to accredited pharmacies selling medication online. To help eliminate risks associated with fake pharmacy sites, look for the VIPPS-accredited seal, seen below.

VIPPS_final

The health of your patients is paramount, which is why, as physicians, you take the time to prescribe medication to improve your patients’ conditions. Additionally, you can act as the trusted authority, educating your patients about the safety and importance of purchasing their prescriptions from a reputable source, such as those with the VIPPS seal, while cautioning them about the dangers associated with unaccredited sources that may offer less expensive medication.  This extra step can make an enormous difference in the well-being of your patients.

This post was sourced, in part, by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), Time, and the World Health Organization. Information for this blog post has been obtained with permission by the author of the original article, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. For more information about NABP, please visit http://www.nabp.net

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