ALEXANDRIA, Va. — National Association of Chain Drug Stores voiced approval Wednesday of Google’s $500 million settlement of a federal investigation into allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place advertisements through Google’s AdWords program targeting U.S. consumers to illegally import prescription drugs.
“NACDS is pleased that Google Inc. is taking steps to rectify the advertising activities of these illegal online drug sellers, and thanks the Department of Justice for its tenacity on this issue. Illegitimate Internet drug sellers pose incredible risks to patients. These rogue websites operate in clear violation of U.S. state and federal laws and regulations. They sell drugs to consumers without the safety of precautions of a legitimate prescriber-patient relationship, a valid prescription and a licensed U.S. pharmacy,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, in a prepared statement.
Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronna described the settlement amount as one of the largest in U.S. history. “It sends a clear message to both Google and to others that contribute to America’s pill problem that they will be held to account for endangering the health and safety of the residents of this district and to persons all across the United States,” he said in announcing the settlement on Tuesday.