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Microsoft Rogue Internet Pharmacy Problem Fixed? Not So Fast, Say Researchers
Date:8/14/2009

Online pharmacy verification service LegitScript and Internet compliance company KnujOn released a report last week analyzing Microsoft-sponsored search results on bing.com for Internet pharmacies, showing that some sold counterfeit drugs and many did not require a prescription. Microsoft subsequently said they conducted a manual sweep to clean up the problem. Days after that, the researchers again purchased more addictive prescription drugs without a prescription from a bing.com ad.

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) August 14, 2009 -- KnujOn.com, an Internet compliance company and LegitScript.com, an online pharmacy verification service, have released a statement indicating that they were again able to purchase addictive prescription drugs without a prior prescription from a bing.com advertisement, just days after Microsoft announced that it had manually reviewed and removed any illegal Internet pharmacy advertisers.

The researchers' original report, released on August 4, 2009, indicated that most Microsoft Internet pharmacy advertisements reviewed by the authors were illicit Internet pharmacies. In its response, Microsoft said it had since manually reviewed all pharma-related keywords to sweep out advertisers in violation of their policies, and that it believed the violation percentage to be substantially smaller than the report indicated.

Less than a week after Microsoft's response, the researchers accessed another bing.com search advertisement for Soma (carisoprodol), a habit-forming prescription muscle relaxant that is a controlled substance in some states. A KnujOn researcher was able to submit an order, and received the drugs, without ever having visited a doctor or receiving a valid prescription.

The advertisement was not a new one. One of the report's co-authors had notified Microsoft in writing six months earlier that the advertiser was selling addictive prescription medications without requiring a valid prescription.

"We told Microsoft that this website was selling addictive medications without requiring a valid prescription in February," said John Horton, LegitScript President. "We got no response, and the website has continued to advertise since then uninterrupted."

KnujOn President Garth Bruen said, "This isn't about an occasional abusive advertiser that slips through Microsoft's filters. This is about a system that isn't working."

In the original report, the authors ordered a prescription drug from a Microsoft-sponsored advertisement that tested positive as counterfeit, and ordered prescription drugs without a prescription from other bing.com advertisements.

Three national organizations had written letters to Microsoft and other search engines in 2008 and 2009 expressing concern about pharmacy advertisers that sell unapproved medications or do not require a prescription.

KnujOn tracks Internet criminality and has removed over 100,000 spam websites from the Internet. LegitScript is the only Internet pharmacy verification organization in the United States identified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as adhering to its standards for certifying Internet pharmacies as safe and legitimate.

The supplemental report is available at LegitScript.com and KnujOn.com.

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/08/prweb2749434.htm.


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Source: PRWeb
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