VIPPS Criteria

To earn VIPPS accreditation, facilities must satisfy the requirements of the program criteria. Applications are assessed based, in part, on a review of a facility's compliance with VIPPS criteria.

Licensure and Policy Maintenance

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies (see definitions) must:

1. Provide NABP with the information necessary to verify that the VIPPS pharmacy is licensed or registered in good standing to operate a pharmacy and/or engage in the practice of pharmacy with all applicable jurisdictions;

2. Provide NABP with the information necessary to verify that all persons affiliated with the site, including those affiliated through contractual or other responsible arrangements, that are engaging in the practice of pharmacy are appropriately licensed or registered and in good standing in all applicable jurisdictions;

3. Maintain and enforce a comprehensive policy and procedure that documents how the pharmacy's policies and procedures are organized, authorized for implementation, revised, retired and archived; and

4. Comply with all applicable statutes and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy where licensed or registered, and comply with the more stringent law or regulation as determined by conflicts of law rules. VIPPS pharmacies must maintain and enforce policies and procedures that address conflicts of law issues that may arise between individual states or between state and federal laws and regulations. Said policies and procedures must assure compliance with applicable laws including generic substitution laws and regulations, and must prohibit unauthorized therapeutic substitution from occurring without necessary patient or prescriber authorization and outside of the conditions for participation in state or federal programs such as Medicaid.
 

Prescriptions

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, must: 

5. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures that assure the integrity, legitimacy, and authenticity of the Prescription Drug Order and seek to prevent Prescription Drug Orders from being submitted, honored, and filled by multiple pharmacies. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures that assure that prescription medications are not prescribed or dispensed based upon telephonic, electronic, or online medical consultations without there being a pre-existing patient-prescriber relationship that has included an in-person physical examination.

Patient Information

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, must:

6. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures ensuring reasonable verification of the identity of the patient, prescriber, and, if appropriate, caregiver, in accordance with applicable state law;

7. Obtain and maintain in a readily accessible format, patient medication profiles and other related data in a manner that facilitates consultation with the prescriber, when applicable, and counseling of the patient or caregiver;

8. Conduct a prospective drug use review (DUR) prior to the dispensing of a medication or device in accordance with applicable state law; and

9. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures to assure patient confidentiality and the protection of patient identity and patient-specific information from inappropriate or non-essential access, use, or distribution while such information is being transmitted via the Internet and while the pharmacy possesses such information. [The NABP Guidelines for the Appropriate Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information in Patient Compliance and Patient Intervention Programs can serve as a useful resource for addressing the confidentiality and security of patient data.]

Communication

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations and VIPPS program criteria must:

10. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures requiring pharmacists to offer interactive, meaningful consultation to the patient or caregiver;

11. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures establishing a mechanism for patients to report, and the VIPPS Pharmacy to take appropriate action regarding, suspected adverse drug reactions and errors;

12. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures that provide a mechanism to contact the patient and, if necessary, the prescriber, if an undue delay is encountered in delivering the prescribed drug or device. Undue delay is defined as an extension of the normal delivery cycle sufficient to jeopardize or alter the patient treatment plan;

13. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures establishing mechanisms to inform patients or caregivers about drug recalls; and

14. Maintain and enforce policies and procedures establishing mechanisms to educate patients and caregivers about the appropriate means to dispose of expired, damaged, and unusable medications.

Storage and Shipment

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations and VIPPS program criteria, must:

15. Ship controlled substances to patients via a secure means that ensures proper delivery and seeks to prevent diversion; and

16. Assure that medications and devices are maintained within appropriate temperature, light, and humidity standards, as established by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), during storage and shipment.

Over-the-Counter Products

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies must:

17. Comply with all applicable federal and state laws regarding the sale of Over-the-Counter Products identified as precursors to the manufacture or compounding of illegal drugs.

Quality Improvement Programs

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies must:

18. Maintain a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Program.  

Reporting to NABP

Qualifying VIPPS Pharmacies must:

19. Notify NABP within thirty (30) days of any change of information provided as part of the verification process, including change in pharmacist-in-charge, or involving data displayed on the VIPPS Web site. VIPPS pharmacies shall notify NABP in writing within ten (10) days of ceasing operations. The written notification shall include the date the pharmacy will be closed, and an affirmation that all VIPPS Seals and references to the VIPPS program have been removed from the Web site and wherever else they are displayed.