Healthcare and prescription costs have been going through the roof in recent years, while people still struggle with a bad economy. To make matters worse, older people are living longer, while many younger people are in worse health than ever before. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease -- huge problems.
With all of these struggles, people turn to the internet for medical advice and discount drugs -- scary. True, not all online pharmacies are bad; quite the contrary, but some of them sell expired, dangerous, and counterfeit drugs, which can have tragic results. Luckily, Bing is now protecting its users from this scourge. Whether you are buying Viagra, insulin or heart pills, Microsoft's search engine will have your back.
"When there is a significant risk of serious harm to the public from purchasing unsafe, counterfeit and other illegal drugs online, the Bing team wants to help our users make informed decisions. With this goal in mind, we are rolling out a new set of warnings on Bing.com to give our customers more information about the dangers of visiting unsafe online pharmacies", says The Bing Team.
The team further says, "this warning will appear if a Bing user clicks on a pharmaceutical site that has been cited by the FDA as a fake online pharmacy engaged in illegal activity, such as offering potentially dangerous, unapproved and misbranded prescription drugs to U.S. consumers. We will be using the FDA’s public list of these sites, which is updated on an ongoing basis".
Of course, these potentially dangerous pill-pushing websites will likely close and reopen under new names to avoid such detection. Don't worry, Bing has plans for this too. You see, it will continue to update its list as the FDA does. While it will never detect 100 per cent of shady online pharmacies, it will certainly help.
Before you complain that Microsoft is being paternalistic in its approach, please know that it is not blocking these sites. If for whatever reason you want to ignore the advice of Bing or the FDA, you can continue to the site anyway. This is obviously not a smart move and would not be recommended.
Could a legit site accidentally get on the FDA's list? Sure. In this case, Bing explains that the website owner can plead its case to the FDA and try to get removed.