What does the Google settlement mean for online pharmacies?posted Thu, 19 May 2011
Google is reportedly setting aside $500 million to resolve a case with the Justice Department alleging that the company cashed in—to the tune of hundreds of millions—on paid ads from rogue online pharmacies.
In the aftermath of Google’s settlement, RxRights is concerned about a blanket backlash against all online pharmacies. Unlicensed, rogue pharmacies are vastly different from their legitimate, licensed counterparts. The latter provide access to safe and affordable prescription drugs at a time when the cost of medicine is out of reach for many struggling Americans.
It is in the interest of public health for the U.S. government and for private companies like Google to make this important distinction. Preventing all safe and legitimate Canadian and International pharmacies from advertising online because of the illegal activities of some rogue pharmacies is simply unfair.
Also, we’re very concerned about the next logical step. What if Google (or other search engines) decides not only to prevent ads from legitimate pharmacies but also to block their search results? This would be a crushing blow to the virtual lifeline to medicine that so many Americans have come to depend on.
We at RxRights think that, when provided with accurate information, consumers can be trusted to make responsible decisions regarding these matters. They don’t need government or Google to police or censor their online experience.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ll take this opportunity to again reiterate some best practices for choosing safe and affordable online pharmacies from which to order prescription drugs. Key points to consider when purchasing medications from international online pharmacies:
1. Is the pharmacy licensed and regulated in its home country?
2. Does the pharmacy require a written, signed prescription from the patient’s doctor to fill the order?
3. Does the pharmacy guarantee patient privacy and confidentiality of records and contact information?
4. Are the for-sale medications being made by leading brand-name manufacturers?
5. Does the pharmacy have a licensed pharmacist reviewing orders and answering questions if needed?
Find out more about the Google case:
U.S. Inquiry of Google on Drug Ads, New York Times
Google Near Deal in Drug Ad Crackdown, Wall Street Journal
Check Out the Shenanigans Behind Google’s $500M Pharmacy Settlement, BNET
U.S. Inquiry of Rogue Pharmacy Ads on Google, PharmacyChecker.com
The Google Pharm Case, LewRockwell.com