Google Censors Canadian Pharmacies Advertising in USposted Mon, 22 Mar 2010
On February 23, 2010, Google changed its online advertising policy and banned international Internet and mail-order pharmacies from displaying advertisements to American consumers using Google AdWords. The policy change makes it harder for U.S. consumers to order safe, brand name pharmaceuticals from abroad, a popular cost-saving measure.
Under Google’s AdWords policy, international pharmacies can only target ads to consumers within their own countries. Google currently allows the following countries to advertise within their own borders: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Regulated, legitimate international pharmacies that offer safe and affordable pharmaceuticals to American consumers have lost their principal method of advertising. Now, when an American consumer types the phrase “international pharmacies” into Google, the search engine only displays ads for U.S. pharmacies, such as CVS.
The policy change has sweeping ramifications with other online search engines. Popular online search tools such as Bing and MSN are beginning to "de-list" international pharmacies in their organic search queries.
It is now next to impossible to find mail-order pharmacies on major U.S. search engines. Only a few pharmacies appear on Google, including Walgreens, CVS, and Drugstore.com, all major American companies with distribution ties to leading pharmaceutical manufacturers.
By restricting consumers’ access to information about international pharmacies, online search engines are making it harder for U.S. consumers to pursue safe, affordable options for purchasing pharmaceuticals.
The tailoring and manipulation of search engine results is raising concerns about online censorship and government interference in international brand-name drug sales. To find out more about obtaining affordable prescription drugs by making information about safe international pharmacies accessible to U.S. consumers via search engines, visit RxRights.org
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