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Why was Google fined S$610 million?

Posted on 25 August 2011

Hint: Healthcare costs in the US are off the charts.

Google is paying a hefty fine to the U.S. government for knowingly allowing Canadian pharmacies to advertise prescription drugs to U.S. residents.

Importing drugs into the U.S. is illegal, though individuals are not prosecuted and also because authorities turn a blind eye to drugs from Canada.

However, this institutional fine imposed is to force Google to return all the revenue it generated from those ads, and pay the authorities the estimated gross revenue of the Canadian pharmacy sites that placed the ads.

U.S. citizens order from Canadian and overseas pharmacies to get cheaper prices on medicine, although it’s illegal to do so even with a prescription or for drugs not available in the US.

Authorities are tough on online pharmacies because online ordering carries a higher risk of encountering counterfeit pills.

What is unclear is whether punishing Google would resolve the online pharmaceutical issue.

Online pharmacies are the masters of spam, using extensive email spams and spam websites to drive sales, which are partly due to healthcare costs in the US being too expensive.

These online pharmacies are now more likely to invest money in other non-US-based companies when putting up advertisements on the Internet.

Read the original article here.

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- who has written 2685 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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  • Ng Ruenn Sheng

    No wonder the US residents need to pay so much for medical expenses. India alone can produce their medicines at a fraction of American costs! But then, they are America…