Last week, Roger Bate, an economist and expert in counterfeit drugs with the American Enterprise Institute, wrote an article called “Google’s Ad Freedom Wrongly Curtailed.” Bate’s piece shows how banning safe foreign online pharmacies from advertising on Google and elsewhere is not only unethical but will lead to sub-optimal health outcomes. As we wrote at the end of August, the non-prosecution agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Google, in which the search engine was fined $500 million for allowing rouge Canadian sites to advertise controlled substances, is good because it forces Google to now block dangerous rogue online pharmacies from advertising. At the same time, however, it’s bad because it appears to prevent Google from allowing safe and affordable Canadian-based online pharmacies form advertising as well.
The DOJ/Google settlement appears to reflect the false rhetoric espoused by the U.S. government and pharmaceutical industry that only U.S. online pharmacies can be safe. Bate knows this is not true based on his own empirical studies, which found that properly credentialed non-U.S. online pharmacies sell genuine medication at a lower cost and require a prescription. By blocking safe Canadian pharmacies from advertising to Americans on Google, it is more difficult for needy Americans to find them. Bate writes:
Google’s current policy removes the potentially lethal sellers, but by disallowing credentialed foreign sites from advertising it will harm public health. The tens of millions of uninsured Americans who cannot afford their drugs will go online to circumvent this obstruction. If they are unaware of pharmacychecker.com’s credentialing, they will play Russian roulette and may end up buying a lethal product.
With media outlets and politicians inundated with a voracious pharmaceutical industry public relations assault that seeks to paint all non-U.S. online pharmacies as rogue, the victim here is the American seeking affordable medication online because he or she can’t afford it here at home. Bate wrote: “What is surprising is that independent groups, like Consumer Reports and AARP, have bought into this industry rhetoric or have failed to properly explain to their members that foreign doesn’t necessarily mean dangerous.”
Bate concludes that for optimal health outcomes Google should revert to its old policy of allowing all safe, properly credentialed online pharmacies, whether U.S. or foreign, to advertise. However, this time around Google would need to fully prevent non-credentialed sites from advertising. Such a policy kicks out the rogues and maximizes, not restricts, access to safe and affordable medication.AARP, adSense, advertising, AEI, American Enterprise Institute, Americans, Canada, Canadian pharmacies, Consumer Reports, controlled substances, Department of Justice, DOJ, Google, Online Pharmacies, pharmacychecker.com, Roger Bate, rogue pharmacies, safe pharmacies, United States
I have ordered prescription medications in the past from sites that are deemed as “rouge” by Legit Script and other corrupt powers that be but interestingly enough all the medications I receive are 100% legit and work just as good as anything I would get from my local pharmacy at a fraction of the costs. The Big Pharma guys, Legit Script as well as the US government want to keep people living in the US running in a hamster wheel of spending all our money running to the doctor to get silly prescriptions for medications like Propecia, Lipitor and Retin-a, paying obscene prices for it and then having to repeat the same process again 3 to 6 months later. It leaves us broke and keeps the doctor’s and big pharma company’s pockets full. In order to perpetuate this they create propaganda campaigns and hide behind seemingly innocent curtains of “safety” and “concern”.
I was furious about 6 months ago when I had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua and stopped by a local pharmacy to find a ton of US made medications that we have to have a prescription for sold over the counter at a tenth of the price we pay here in the US. It was the same exact stuff, box, labels and all that we pay a ton of money here for in the US. I started thinking how absolutely ridiculous it is that if had purchased some of that medication in Nicaragua and brought it back to the US then I would have been breaking US laws. People who run US big pharma, the DEA and Legit Script must have no conscience or soul in order to push the agenda’s that they do.
I fully understand and support any control over controlled substances like Vicodin and Xanax but when it comes to non-controlled substance then people should be left alone as well as the pharmacies that provide non-controlled substances.
I am all for competitive online pharmacies and prescription fullfilment services. However, without the aid of some type of certification and review, there is no way to know with confidence that what you are taking is the real prescribed drug and not expired. And unfortunately, Jeremy and Margaret, many rogue pharmacies and their enablers admit right up front that they are often selling their own takes on the actual trademarked pharmaceuticals. Not the real thing. Counterfeiting hurts us all, and increases the prices of pharmaceutical drugs, medical care, law enforcment, and health insurance. If you want to control these costs, Jeremy, don’t gamble with uncertified rogue pharmacies. Patronize trustworthy and verified pharmacies and support the DOJ, FDA and other private efforts to stamp out online rogue pharmacies.,
Thanks for contributing to the discussion. You’ll be happy to know that there is certificaiton and review of online pharmacies.
The evidence shows that properly credentialed non-US online pharmacies which fill orders from licensed pharmacies, require a valid prescription, and provide verifiable contact information on their websites safely dispense genuine medication. The medication purchased for personal drug importation is often the same brand name product – from the same manufacturer – sold here but at a much lower price, often 80% less than U.S. pharmacies. A consumer is almost certain to receive proper care and safe medications from one that meets the aforementioned criteria and is certified in the PharmacyChecker.com Verification Program [Source: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17955%5D.