FAQs

  1. Why do I need VIPPS accreditation to advertise on Google?
  2. What is the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program?
  3. Which advertisers require NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program approval?
  4. How does NABP determine which review process and fees are required for my business?
  5. What is the time frame to become NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program-approved?
  6. How do I start the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program application process?
  7. If I apply for the e-Advertiser Approval Program and it has been determined that my website is not eligible for the program after formal review, will I receive a refund?
  8. Our pharmacy does not accept prescriptions via the Internet, but would like to simply advertise online. Do we still need to complete this process in order to advertise? We don't sell anything on our website.
  9. If we only sell over-the-counter drug products, do we still need to apply for NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program approval?
  10. I am a cosmetic physician and I own and operate a medical spa. We are not a pharmacy and we do not sell any medication online. We provide services to patients such as Botox Cosmetic, Juvederm, Restylane, Latisse, etc.
  11. I do not advertise prescription drugs on my website or offer any prescription drug-related services, but Google still suspended my AdWords account. How do I proceed?
  12. In the event that NABP notifies me that my business is not eligible for the e-Advertiser Approval Program, will I still be able to advertise with Google or the other search engines? 
  13. I experienced poor customer service from, or read negative online reviews of, a pharmacy doing business over the Internet, and I noticed that NABP has accredited/approved this business. Can NABP revoke accreditation/approval from this business or intervene?

1. Why do I need VIPPS accreditation to advertise on Google?

In recent years, rogue websites posing as legitimate pharmacies have proliferated on the Internet, peddling substandard, tainted, and counterfeit drugs to unsuspecting patients. In response, on March 1, 2010, Google began accepting advertisements from only those Internet pharmacies in the United States that are accredited through the VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) program. Google’s policy change will make it more difficult for these rogue Internet drug outlets to advertise and demonstrates the search engine's commitment to patient safety.

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2. What is the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program?

Because the VIPPS accreditation program is structured to address licensed pharmacies engaged in the practice of pharmacy and a full range of defined business activities online, NABP developed a complementary program, called NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program, that identifies Internet advertisers that offer only limited pharmacy services or other prescription drug-related services online. Approval through this program will allow those who do not qualify for VIPPS to advertise on Google.

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3. Which advertisers require NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program approval?

NABP will review all pharmacy and prescription drug-related entities seeking to advertise through Google's AdWords program, upon receipt of the advertisers' completed application for NABP approval. Based on the service the advertised entity provides, NABP will determine whether accreditation through VIPPS or approval through the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program is required.

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4. How does NABP determine which review process and fees are required for my business?

The review process and fees depend on the level of service the business offers over the Internet, and the number of states in which it conducts business.  

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5. What is the time frame to become NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program approved?

The time frame for the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program review process depends on the level of prescription drug-related service the applicant business provides over the Internet and the number of states in which it conducts business or to which it ships prescription drugs. 

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6. How do I start the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program application process?

Review the applicant descriptions and fee schedule to determine under which schedule your company would apply. Complete the e-Advertiser Approval application for NABP review and submit with appropriate fees. NABP will take it from there and will keep you posted as to the status of your application. 

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7. If I apply for the e-Advertiser Approval Program and it has been determined that my website is not eligible for the program after formal review, will I receive a refund?

In most instances, you will receive a partial refund. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis and is relative to the amount of work completed by NABP staff in reviewing your application and website.

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8. Our pharmacy does not accept prescriptions via the Internet, but would like to simply advertise online. Do we still need to complete this process in order to advertise? We don't sell anything on our Web site.

Yes. The e-Advertiser Approval program is applicable to any website offering prescription drugs or prescription drug-related products, services, or information via the Internet.

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9. If we only sell over-the-counter drug products, do we still need to apply for NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program approval? 

No. Such entities do not need program approval.

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10. I am a cosmetic physician and I own and operate a medical spa. We are not a pharmacy and we do not sell any medication online. We provide services to patients such as Botox® Cosmetic, Juvederm™, Restylane®, Latisse®, etc. Do we still need to complete this process in order to advertise?

Yes. See FAQ No. 7.

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11. I do not advertise prescription drugs on my website or offer any prescription drug-related services, but Google still suspended my AdWords account. How do I proceed?

You should reach out to the representatives at Google to find out why your account was suspended. Depending on the explanation Google provided (which NABP does not have access to), you may need to apply for e-Advertiser. Google might have suspended your AdWords account because your site posts a key word(s) or statement(s) that could relate in some way to a prescription drug, device, and/or service. In some instances, certain over-the-counter drug products or homeopathic remedies are flagged by Google.

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12. In the event that NABP notifies me that my business is not eligible for the e-Advertiser Approval Program, will I still be able to advertise with Google or the other search engines? 

It depends. Once accreditation staff formally reviews the website and determines it is not eligible for e-Advertiser approval, you may receive correspondence from NABP indicating that you are not eligible for any of its accreditation/approval programs and the reasoning behind your ineligibility. In most instances, correspondence from NABP indicating that your business is not eligible for NABP approval/accreditation satisfies Google’s AdWords policies. This is, however, determined only on a case-by-case basis and NABP cannot guarantee any action Google takes. 

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13. I experienced poor customer service from, or read negative online reviews of, a pharmacy doing business over the Internet, and I noticed that NABP has accredited/approved this business. Can NABP revoke accreditation/approval from this business or intervene?

For its Accreditation programs, NABP evaluates only businesses’ adherence to state and federal pharmacy practice laws and best pharmacy practice standards. Unless your complaint centers on a component of an Accreditation program criteria or standard, NABP cannot intervene. NABP has no control over businesses’ customer service or marketing practices. If you have serious concerns about any business you encounter, please contact the state board of pharmacy in which that business is located or a local law enforcement authority.

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