Microsoft hopes to curb online pharmacy fraud with some changes it is making to its Bing search engine. People who search on Bing for these kinds of businesses will now see warnings if a web link to an online pharmacy is considered to be fake or illegal, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Microsoft says the FDA's list includes online pharmacies that the regulator believes has "engaged in illegal activity, such as offering potentially dangerous, unapproved and misbranded prescription drugs to U.S. consumers." It adds:
"We currently use similar warnings for sites that are reasonably suspected of containing malware. As with malware, we will not prevent a user from visiting the site. However, the warning will caution users of the risks, and provide links to resources where the user can learn more about selecting a safe online pharmacy. We want to make sure that the information and warnings we provide are accurate. If the owners of an affected site believe they have been wrongly included on the FDA's public list, that company has the ability to address this with the FDA directly by contacting the FDA Internet Pharmacy Task Force."
Microsoft adds that anyone who believes a site has been incorrectly put on this black list of pharmacies can contact Bing Support to request that the warning be removed.