At the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, we are concerned about the safety of Iowa patients who purchase medication online.  The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has reviewed more than 11,000 Internet drug outlets selling prescription medications and found that less than 4 percent operate legally and ethically. This means that the drugs you order from websites pretending to be legitimate pharmacies could contain such ingredients as glue, chalk, and rat poison, or not contain enough medicine. And 16 percent of the rogue sites reviewed do not protect your personal information, leaving you exposed to identity theft and fraud. Finally, without a doctor's prescription or a pharmacist to answer your questions, you also increase your risk misdiagnosing an illness, or experiencing serious adverse reactions to your medication.

Can anyone stay safe in the face of these numbers? Yes, by buying medicines only from online pharmacies that use the .pharmacy domain. These pharmacies have been vetted thoroughly and found to be compliant with Iowa and federal laws as well as pharmacy practice standards.

A list of .pharmacy websites is available at

In addition, tips on spotting a rogue online pharmacy can be found in the Buying Safely section of this site. Knowing the characteristics of rogue sites, such as not requiring a prescription or not providing a phone number or street address, will help protect you from receiving counterfeit, contaminated, or otherwise unsafe products.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy has allied itself with the .pharmacy program because it continues Iowa's long-standing commitment to protecting your health and safety through regulating the profession you've come to rely upon as an integral part of your personal health care goals.

The mission of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy is as follows:

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy promotes, preserves, and protects the public health, safety, and welfare by fostering the provision of pharmaceutical care to all Iowans through the effective regulation of the practice of pharmacy, the operation of pharmacies, the appropriate utilization of pharmacy technicians, the distribution of prescription medications and devices, and the education and training of pharmacists.