PharmacyChecker hits pharma associations with antitrust suit

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PharmacyChecker.com, an online pharmacy verification service provider, accused several pharmaceutical associations of reaching agreements with online gatekeepers like Google and Bing to suppress its online presence, according to STAT. 

The antitrust suit claims several groups, including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, created private agreements with search engines, social media companies and other online gatekeepers to keep PharmacyChecker's online presence subdued.

The online verification company claims that the national association worked with the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies to persuade Google and Bing to penalize "Not Recommended Sites" in search results. The national association allegedly listed PharmacyChecker as one of the not recommended pharmacy sites, even though the site doesn't sell medications, according to the report. 

As a result, a Google search for "online pharmacies" used to include a link to PharmacyChecker's directory of accredited online pharmacies, but now the website resides on pages that are harder to find. 

Online searches of pharmacy websites using Bing turned up a warning box next to PharmacyChecker's website, the suit alleges. 

The verification site claims the search engines denied links to its website and instead directed users to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies and LegitScript.

Read the full report here.

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