Is Google Guilty of Intentionally Marketing Canadian Prescription Drug Ads to Americans?

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Google Inc. has until the 9th of April to give the Dekalb County Pension Fund investors company documents involving what authorities said was the illegal online marketing of prescription drugs to U.S. consumers by Canadian pharmacies.

A Deleware judge entered the order Wednesday after a complaint was filed by the DeKalb County Pension Fund. Fund attorneys want to see corporate records after Google agreed last year to forfeit $500 million following a U.S. government investigation.

The settlement allowed Google to avoid being prosecuted for its suspected involvement and profit off of ads for Canadian pharmacies that marketed drugs to Americans. Such marketing is prohibited because the act of shipping prescription drugs from Canada to the U.S. is illegal.

Google has claimed in the past that it banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies and that it should have never allowed certain ads. And In 2010, Google announced new restrictions for online pharmacies seeking to advertise with AdWords.

The order covers all documents from 2003 to Sept. 12, 2011 that were presented to Google board members about Canadian pharmacies using Google's AdWords advertising program.

Companies using AdWords select keywords for advertising. When people search on Google using a company's keyword, that ad may appear next to the search results.

Google has offered no comment on the judge’s order.

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