Google dominates search on the Internet. “Google it” has become a common command if you want to know almost anything. Most people assume that Google serves up unbiased, objective search information. Because people rarely get past the first page of a Google search, they assume that Google is fair. But is it truly objective, or does Google favor Big Pharma and the FDA over drug watchdogs like The People’s Pharmacy?
Health Searches Skew in Favor of Pharma & the FDA:
We almost understand Google’s perspective. It wants credible drug facts. There is a lot of questionable health information on the web. Google uses a super-secret algorithm to cull through tens of millions of pages of online content.
These days it relies heavily on a couple of websites that summarize the official prescribing information sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. These data are generated by pharmaceutical manufacturers in their effort to get FDA approval to market their medicines.
What Happened to Google?
There was a time when Google seemed to be reasonably fair in its selection process. If lots of people found a website helpful, Google rewarded that kind of traffic. It was a crowd-sourced, democratic process.
That is why the drug information here at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com used to routinely show up very high when people searched drug side effects. Now, Google has seemingly spurned our messages and our vision.
The People’s Pharmacy is:
“An independent watchdog dedicated to consumer health protection”
Since 1976, we have built a reputation as a trustworthy and truly independent voice for both consumers and health professionals. We stand up for the consumer by serving as a watchdog of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, including the FDA itself.
We are accountable only to you, the public, and not to any outside organization.
You can read more about us, our mission, experience and credentials at this link.
Does Google Favor Big Pharma? Trust But Verify!
Please do not take our word for Google’s preferences. Perform a Google search for various drugs. What do you see?
Let us suggest a few examples. Try searching:
When we search medications we often see the following websites come up:
www.webmd.com and www.rxlist.com (you may be interested to discover who now owns these two sites)
What Do You See When You Click?
One of the first things we see when we search one of these websites is a long list of side effects. Take gabapentin, for example. Your eyes will likely glaze over very quickly after reading about dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, loss of memory, depression, dry mouth, feeling weak, changes in mood, blurred vision, etc.
When you go to www.PeoplesPharmacy.com and search gabapentin side effects you get something quite different. Here are just a few of the articles we have written on this widely-prescribed drug:
You will learn about the boondoggle of off-label prescribing of Neurontin (gabapentin). There’s a fascinating question about using this drug for insomnia. You will find out about the $430 million Pfizer paid in penalties because of fraudulent promotion. There is a long list of side effects of course, but in addition there is a description of “Gabapentin Discontinuation Syndrome” (aka Withdrawal). There are stories from visitors to our website that make the side effects relevant to readers. There are also hundreds of comments from people who have experienced the pros and cons of gabapentin. That’s not what you will get from other websites.
You will see similar information when you go to:
There are 1,055 comments. 491 people have rated the article 4.4 stars out of 5.
There are almost 2,000 comments associated with this post.
Do You Value www.PeoplesPharmacy.com?
Are you tired of long lists of mind-numbing side effects? Do you value the unique context that we try to provide in both our drug information and home remedy sections? Do you find our efforts as “an independent watchdog dedicated to consumer health protection” worth supporting?
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- Bring you up to date on medical advances?
- Save you money on medicines?
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