The U.S. Attorney’s office in Rhode Island and the FDA’s Office Criminal Investigations managed to squeeze a half a billion dollars out of Google for publishing online ads for Canadian pharmacies selling low cost drugs to consumers in the United States. Google had blocked similar ads from other countries, but not Canada. Peter F. Neronha, the U.S. Attorney proudly proclaimed that the investigation and settlement was a significant step in curtailing the activities of “rogue pharmacies” to reach U.S. consumers with drugs that may be unsafe and/or unlawful. Note, he didn’t say “actually unsafe and/or illegal.”
Perhaps he might have been more forthcoming if he had actually announced that the FDA and his office in cooperation with big Pharma had effectively curtained a pipeline for U.S. manufactured drugs that were sold by pharmaceutical companies in Canada at substantially cheaper prices than in the U.S. so as to prevent U.S. consumers from obtaining the drugs at cheaper prices than in the United States and to protect the high profit margins of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, without any actual evidence that the Canadian drugs were harmful to American citizens. That probably would not sell as well, but isn’t the FDA all about truth in packaging?