Well known within pharmacy practices (but maybe not so much to the public at large), the “.pharmacy” extension on website addresses represents an important qualification: the site has met standards maintained by the National Assn. of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to permit legal online prescription fulfillment. NABP went through a fairly arduous process several years ago with ICANN, the organization that tries to keep order globally in web addresses and coding practices, to win the right to manage the .pharmacy “top level domain” (as the extension is termed).
Recently, NABP expanded the scope of the .pharmacy to include organizations that provide advisory or consulting services to the pharmacy industry. And that’s when Roger Morris, a partner at Quarles & Brady, seized the opportunity to grab an address for his firm: quarles.pharmacy. “In addition to being a lawyer, I am a registered pharmacist, as are several of the lawyers in our Health and Life Sciences industry team,” says Morris. “I expect that other law firms practicing in this area will follow us with the .pharmacy designation.”
Quarles & Brady is a 500-member national law firm; its health and life sciences practice has done work for the entire pharmaceutical supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors and (of course) pharmacies. The organization had to meet a series of NABP requirements for licensing and business practices to earn the .pharmacy designation. Most recently, adds Morris, the firm has been very busy with guiding pharmacies through the altered permits and practices as state health authorities have reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It wasn’t apparent to Pharmaceutical Commerce until Quarles & Brady pointed it out, but many other organizations can obtain a .pharmacy designation: manufacturers, wholesale distributors, consumer advocacy groups, among others. As always, however, watch out for the online “pharmacies” that dispense medicine but lack the .pharmacy designation.