Following our recent blog outlining the reasons that we re-designated HealthAffiliatesNetwork / 121Doc as rogue Internet pharmacies, the network has agreed to remove the US as a shipping option from its affiliated pharmacy websites. We appreciate the modification. Pending our continuing review of the affiliate networks’ compliance with prescription and drug safety requirements in the EU, we have restored the affiliates’ legitimacy classification to “unapproved” (not “rogue”).
What’s the difference between “unapproved” and “rogue” in LegitScript’s database? We are unable to recommend either type of website, but there is a difference in our classification scheme. Here’s a cheat sheet as to our four main classifications for Internet pharmacies, steroid websites and sometimes, dietary supplement websites.
- Legitimate. These are Internet pharmacies that we have determined meet our standards (approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy). These currently apply to Internet pharmacies targeting the US market. Legitimate Internet pharmacies in foreign jurisdictions are either not published or classified as “unverified” (below) pending expansion of our verification program.
- Unverified. This is a neutral descriptor indicating that the website, at our first glance, does not appear to be problematic, but we have not yet been able to grant it LegitScript approval. Some of these Internet pharmacies eventually turn out to be problematic, but most have no problems or only minor ones that are easily addressed. LegitScript encourages these Internet pharmacies to apply for approval, which is available at no cost.
- Unapproved. This means that we have identified some way in which the Internet pharmacy fails to comply with our standards. We are unable to recommend these Internet pharmacies. However, we do not identify these particular Internet pharmacies as engaged in outright criminal activity, and unless requested, typically do not actively notify Registrars and ISPs about Internet pharmacies merely classified as unapproved. (In some cases, this is simply a matter on our part of making sure that we have adequate information to defend a “rogue” classification, below, first.)
- Rogue. This means that the Internet pharmacy is in clear and significant violation of the laws and regulations where it offers to dispense prescription drugs. Typically, the website is failing to require a valid prescription; is offering drugs that fail to meet applicable drug safety and oversight regulations; and/or is not appropriately licensed. These factors often denote serious safety and health risks attendant to ordering from the Internet pharmacy. LegitScript may notify Registrars and ISPs about rogue Internet pharmacies, resulting in the website’s domain name’s suspension.
In the case of 121Doc / HealthAffiliatesNetwork, the removal of the US as a shipping destination sufficed in this particular case to move the network’s affiliated Internet pharmacies from “rogue” to “unapproved.” However, LegitScript continues to monitor this and other networks, and reserves the right to change the classification if additional problems are identified.