China’s state run television station recently accused Baidu, a Chinese search engine, of promoting counterfeit drugs by directing users to websites that sell fake medication.
CCTV ran a report that claimed Baidu and other search engines were making money by promoting three websites that sell counterfeit drugs, according to Reuters. These sites have reportedly already attracted the business of about 3,000 people in China.
A source recently told the news provider that the three sites suspected of selling counterfeit drugs had utilized a loophole that allowed them to tag along with legitimate websites. By doing so these allegedly unscrupulous websites were able to be shown when certain keywords were entered in the search engine.
This was not the first time that CCTV accused Baidu of directing users to sites that sold phony medical products. In 2008, the television station revealed that the search engine had sold links to unliscensed medical websites.
Fortunately, Americans are protected against counterfeit drugs if they purchase them offline from a licensed U.S. pharmacy, or if they purchase them online from a pharmacy that has been certified by the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, or VIPPS, program.