Thursday, March 15, 2012

Google's back in the courts

Notes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC.  Content also featured on WBTV's segment "Protecting Your Cyberturf" featuring Kristin Miranda and Theresa Payton, airing Wednesdays at fifteen past 5pm EST.

Google is back in the courts about non U.S. Pharmacies selling prescription drugs to U.S. Citizens.

There are many ways to save a dollar and enjoy the convenience of having your prescription drugs shipped to you but we also want to make sure you get what your Doctor says you need.   We’ve told you before about being careful about ordering prescription and even over the counter drugs online and to do your homework first before you buy.  Maybe Google should have followed our advice too.  It sounds like they are in a little hot water these days with a judge who says they should have never shown you advertisements for companies based in Canada that wanted to sell to you.  

When we covered this before, we found that people were often surprised to learn they buying drugs online from Canadian pharmacies was actually illegal.   This was even more surprising to them because when they did a Google search for their prescription drug, they were sometimes shown ads for drug companies in Canada and other countries.  

Google has since removed the ads but it left many wondering why Google would allow them to display in the first place.
Google previously settled with the U.S. court system and paid a fine to avoid a criminal court case for charges that it improperly benefited from ads that allowed Canadian companies to market prescription drugs to U.S. consumers.
However, as part of another law suit, a Judge recently filed a request asking for all documents presented to Google board members about Canadian pharmacies that purchased Google Ads during the time period of January 2003 to Sept. 12, 2011.
Google is not commenting on the judge’s document request.

Friendly Reminder:  Shipping prescription drugs from anyplace outside the U.S, not just Canada, into the U.S. is illegal.

However, our quick internet search for “cheap prescription drugs” popped up ads for pharmacies all around the world and no visible warnings that it is considered illegal to purchase drugs from outside the U.S.
1.  Do your research when purchasing online - it’s not just about price, make sure you can read reviews and information about the Pharmacy you are purchasing from

2.  Use sources like Consumer Reports to help you do comparison shopping

3.  If the Pharmacy is outside the U.S., chances are they are not allowed to sell prescriptions to you

If you want to voice your opinion on having the ability to safely purchase prescription drugs from outside the U.S., you can contact your Senate and House Representative.  

WORD OF THE WEEK:  CHIRPCLOCK.  Tired of looking at your watch, smart phone or clock to know the time then this is for you.  Chirpclock is an app that uses tweets to tell time.  Many people include a time in their tweet.  For example:  “6am, time to wake up!” and Chirplclock catches the tweet displaying the tweet with the time prominently displayed.

You may also voice your opinion at Non-Profits, such as RX Rights at .

Consumer Reports did a pricing comparison of many prescription drugs and you can find their report at

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP) has a program that will help you identify online pharmacies that meet all state and federal regulations for dispensing prescription medicine.

You can find our word of the week, Chirpclock, at:

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