Magazine article Drug Topics

International Congress Urges World Standards for E-Pharmacy

Magazine article Drug Topics

International Congress Urges World Standards for E-Pharmacy

Article excerpt

Separating legal from illegal Internet pharmacy sites on a global basis, a goal of the Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP), headquartered in The Hague, is one step closer to reality. At a press conference at the recent FIP meeting in Vienna, the organization's president, Peter Kielgast, revealed that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is working with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to help them implement its Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites certification program.

If all goes well, the VIPPS system, a seal of approval for on-line pharmacies, will be in place in Australia-the first overseas site-by the end of the year, NABP's executive director, Carmen Catizone, told Drug Topics.

Kielgast observed that the VIPPS model lends itself well to AngloSaxon countries. He pledged the assistance of FTP, the umbrella organization for pharmacy worldwide, in adapting VIPPS for other cultures. To protect consumers from rogue sites, he added that FIP is considering setting standards for good pharmacy practice for e-pharmacy.

Another issue that requires global cooperation is genetic technology. The sequencing of the human genome offers "extraordinary possibilities," Kielgast noted in his opening speech, "but also fear and uncertainty," since it's taking us into areas that are "scientifically and ethically unmapped. …

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