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Report: Microsoft Sponsoring Ads for Rogue Internet Pharmacies
Date:8/4/2009

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- LegitScript.com, an online pharmacy verification service, and KnujOn.com, an Internet compliance company, have released a report analyzing Microsoft's sponsored search results (online advertisements) for Internet pharmacies displayed on bing.com. The report indicates that 89.7% of the Microsoft Internet pharmacy advertisements reviewed by the authors were fake or illegal Internet pharmacies.

Most of the Internet pharmacy advertisements analyzed in the report did not require a valid prescription. The authors were able to order a prescription-only muscle relaxant from a Microsoft-sponsored Internet pharmacy advertisement without any prescription.

Also, the authors ordered another prescription drug from a Microsoft-sponsored advertisement that tested positive as counterfeit.

Search engine advertising programs allow website owners to purchase visibility on the first few pages of search results, where online ads are listed as "sponsored sites." Because Microsoft receives revenue when an Internet user clicks on a bing.com advertisement, it is generally accepted that online ads should not facilitate unlawful activity.

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. LegitScript President John Horton said, "We were able to purchase potentially addictive drugs without a prescription or any age verification via bing.com ads. We also received counterfeit medication. Microsoft profits from these illegal ads, which put Internet users at risk."

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SOURCE LegitScript.com
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