DoJ: Google to Forfeit $500 Million for Illegal Canadian Pharma Ads

Lora Bentley

The U.S. Department of Justice slapped Google with a $500 million fine this week for knowingly displaying ads for Canadian pharmacies to U.S. residents, when importing prescription drugs into the U.S. is a crime.


Wired reports:

The forfeiture, which the feds describe as one of the largest ever, forces Google to return all the revenue it generated from those ads, and pay the feds the estimated gross revenue of the Canadian pharmacy sites that placed the ads.

In a statement, Peter Neronha, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, said the fine "is about holding Google responsible for its conduct" and getting Google's attention, as well as "the attention of all those who contribute to America's pill problem." The fine will reportedly consume more than 20 percent of the company's profits from the first quarter this year.


Apparently, Google revised its policy regarding pharmacy ads in 2010 so that it would only work with accredited U.S. pharmacies and online Canadian pharmacies accredited by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, but the changes weren't enough to satisfy government agents. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Rhode Island's attorney general were also involved in the investigation.

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Aug 27, 2011 10:08 AM Bill johnston Bill johnston  says:

While they may have published the adds, They should not have to pay restitution for posting the adds. I thought that we were in a free society. Now it seems that we are not.

If the above is the way we are going to censor advertising then there are a lot better candidates than these. Low income Americans have been getting medicines from Canada for years. The drug companies in the USA cannot charge what they want to charge in Canada, so they bitch about unequal opportunities in Canada verses the USA where the government does not care about the lower income individuals or what drug companies charge.

By the same token, then American companies that advertise foreign  products should be charged as the same as Google. This is a unequal charge against Google that should be remedied by the same value as other advertising... More than likely an American company wrote the advertising and posted it from the USA. while I cannot verify that statement I would guess that I am right in this statement ,because the audience for these adds are different from Canadian audiences and the wording would woulld not be concise.


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