Buyers Tips

Pharmacy Tips

Many pharmacies today are offering their services over the internet. Out of state mail order pharmacies also conduct business in Colorado. Consumers must exercise due diligence when selecting a pharmacy provider. Problems that arise in a pharmacy transaction may require attention. Consumers may not know where to turn for assistance.

Currently there are over 1000 outlets marketing their services over the internet. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has developed a program that certifies that pharmacies providing internet services are safe and reliable. Their program is called VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site). You can access information about this program at If a pharmacy has been VIPPS certified it means that it complies with state laws and regulations, and adheres to other principles required by NABP. Consumers considering the use of an internet outlet may want to check to determine whether or not the pharmacy has VIPPS certification.

The Colorado Board of Pharmacy sometimes receives complaints from individuals who have received poor service from out of state outlets. Sometimes, the wrong medication is sent or the dose and/or quantity is incorrect. Some individuals have experienced situations where the medication does not arrive for several weeks, and they run out of the current supply of medication while waiting for the medicine to come.

The Colorado Board of Pharmacy refers these types of complaints to the state in which the pharmacy is located. The Pharmacy Board in that state will address complaints arising from pharmacies located there, just as the Colorado Board will address concerns about pharmacies located in Colorado. In this way, the regulatory system from state to state accommodates business conducted nationwide. The Colorado Board has the authority to revoke the registration of an out of state pharmacy if it is appropriate to do so. That remedy, however, will not address the issues in the individual consumer complaint. It will just prohibit that particular pharmacy from engaging in business in Colorado in the future.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, individuals importing prescription drugs from outside of the boundaries of the United States are in violation of federal law, except in a very limited number of circumstances. Consumers interested in procuring medication from outside of the U.S. may want to check with the FDA to determine under what circumstances that may be appropriate.



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