Google To Stop Accepting Ads From Unlicensed Online Pharmacies
Online search engine Google will stop accepting advertising from unlicensed pharmacies that sell narcotics and other prescription drugs online without proper medical supervision following similar action last month by Yahoo! and Microsoft's MSN Web site, the Washington Post reports. Search engines are "littered" with advertisements from unlicensed Web pharmacies, which pay search engine operators to link their ads to specific keyword searches, according to the Post. Search engine operators say that revenue from such ads is a small part of their total advertising revenue. Google will begin using a third-party company to "weed out" ads from unlicensed pharmacies, Google spokesperson David Krane said. Google also will ban the names of certain drugs as keywords for its search-based ads.
Three congressional committees are considering the operations of unlicensed Web pharmacies, including the roles of credit card and shipping companies in online drug sales, according to committee members and staff. Federal regulators, who have limited power over Web advertising, also are considering taking actions intended to persuade search engines and other businesses to deal only with legitimate pharmacies (Gaul/Flaherty, Washington Post, 12/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.