Google's Ad Freedom Wrongly Curtailed
September 28, 2011
Real Clear Markets
By Roger Bate
Last month Google was fined $500 million for allowing foreign pharmacies that sell to Americans to advertise on Google adWords. Google's agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) focused on controlled substances, like opiate painkillers, but as a result Google must now block all foreign prescription-drug advertisements. This ban includes foreign sites selling safe drugs to patients with valid prescriptions.
Failing to distinguish between licensed online pharmacies (Canadian or otherwise), which require a valid prescription and sell safe medications, and rogue online pharmacies, which sell lethal fake medicines or flout prescription requirements, means poor patients have less information to make good choices about the drugs they require. This settlement demonstrates the desire of government and industry to equate the two types of sellers and their products regardless of health consequences. Read more