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Spam Ads Touting Fake Medicines Appearing on Bing.com

The Bing search engine of Microsoft is hosting sponsored advertisements of Internet pharmacies that produce malicious spam for trading drugs unlawfully, said LegitScript.com, a provider of Internet pharmacy verification, and KnujOn.com, an Internet compliance firm.

The websites state that after analyzing the search results of the sponsored pharmacy ads on Bing.com, they found that the online pharmacy ads were almost 90% spam, which potentially had connections with organized crime.

Out of 69 drug advertisers investigated, the websites found that merely 7 were legitimate. The rest 62 Internet pharmaceutical firms didn't ask for a prescription, did not have a US postal address, or preferred delivering medicines from countries other than the USA, each of which was unlawful.

But the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) mandates firms to possess an authenticated pharmacy license, should be located in the US, and only sell drugs with an authentic prescription.

The report, however, states that some pharmacies have connections with organized crime gangs of Eastern Europe and Russia and do not prevent people from buying medicines without a doctor's written recommendation. Other drugs that the questionable pharmacies dispense are fake, the investigators stated.

Furthermore, the report makes a note that Microsoft is empowered to make it compulsory for its sponsored advertisements to fulfill specific criteria, but things have not changed recently. Unlawful sponsored ads of pharmacies continue to dominate Bing's search engine and whenever a user accesses an ad for a rogue pharmacy, Microsoft earns money.

A LegitScript blog states that the company has detected serious security deficiencies in the Internet advertising program of Microsoft, as it permitted fake online pharmacies such as store.k2med.com, using the moniker of a home pharmacy with a US license, to advertise, but diverted traffic to the counterfeit website that required no prescription. In fact, there are several more cases of the kind which is unpleasant news for the advertisers on Bing.com, the blog notes.

Meanwhile, the investigation results of the practices of Bing have been made public so that Microsoft is forced to halt its illegal pharmacy ads.

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