The People's Perspective on Medicine

Is Google Censoring Drug Side Effect Information?

Many health websites have been buried by a new Google algorithm update. Search is fruitless. We provide drug side effect information. Why can't you find it?

Google dominates web searches. If you want to know something, you “Google it.” That is especially true for health information in general and drug side effect information in particular. We wonder whether Google is now suppressing websites like ours that provide independent and objective drug side effect information.

Google’s New Search Algorithm:

Google recently modified its “algorithm” for search. That means it changed the way it ranks websites. Many health sites have seen a dramatic drop in traffic. The People’s Pharmacy is one of them. Over the last month our traffic is down over 50% thanks to Google’s 2019 Core Update.

Is The People’s Pharmacy Being Buried by Google?

In theory, Google is supposed to reward websites that provide reliable health information based on something called E-A-T. That stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. The People’s Pharmacy has been providing that kind of drug side effect information long before there was an Internet.

How The People’s Pharmacy Got Started:

A book called The People’s Pharmacy was Number 1 on the New York Times best seller list four decades ago. It stayed on the list for months.

That was because we provided drug side effect information that had never before been available to the public. We also included warnings about dangerous drug interactions. The success of that book led to a nationally syndicated newspaper column (distributed by King Features) and an award-winning nationally syndicated public radio show heard on many NPR stations.

Since then, we have written more than 20 other books. You can read about our credentials, awards and values at this link.

What We Do:

For more than 40 years we have been trying to provide accurate, objective and trustworthy information about both over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications. Most of the websites that offer drug information list adverse reactions that are found in the official prescribing information provided by pharmaceutical companies. We dig much deeper.

We provide drug side effect information and interaction warnings that many other websites never mention. We also offer context and a deeper understanding of the consequences of adverse drug reactions. Here are some examples:

Lisinopril Cough and Angioedema:

Every website that offers drug side effect information will include cough with the popular blood pressure medication lisinopril. It’s often buried in the middle of dozens of other side effects under a category called “Less Common.” Equally uninformative is the listing “difficulty breathing.”

On our website you will discover an in-depth analysis of ACE inhibitor cough that makes it clear this is not an uncommon complication (Chest Jan. 2006). You will also learn about a life-threatening reaction called angioedema that can affect the digestive tract as well as the lips, mouth and throat. 

Making Drug Side Effect Information Real:

Many standard drug information websites list dozens of side effects for each medication. Most people have no way to make sense of these lists. There is no context. After reading 10 or 20 potential adverse reactions most people zone out.

One of the things that differentiates www.PeoplesPharmacy.com from most other websites are the stories from readers. This, more than anything else, allows visitors to understand the symptoms that people experience.

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These personal accounts make adverse reactions understandable. Here is an article that used to be highly ranked by Google. People searching lisinopril side effects could find it easily. Now, this article has virtually disappeared from Google searches.

Lisinopril Side Effects Can Be Life Threatening: Beware Angioedema and ACE Inhibitors!

An example of one reader’s scary story:

To better understand angioedema, here is an account from a reader. It is far more memorable than “difficulty breathing” buried in a list of 34 other possible side effects:

“My doctor prescribed lisinopril for me about ten years ago. I took it without being aware of any side effects. However, I’ve had a booming cough – what my husband used to call a ‘demon cough’ because of the way it sounded – for a number of years.

“In addition, I had several instances of throat, tongue and lip swelling that resulted in trips to the ER from work. I chalked those up to food allergies, while doctors blamed another drug, nifedipine. As it turned out, neither had anything to do with it.

“One day I had just arrived home from work when I felt that familiar itchy tickle in the back of my throat. I drank water at first, thinking it would go away, but it got progressively worse and I noticed some swelling. I went straight to the ER, and it was a decision that saved my life.

“On the ride to the hospital, I could feel the swelling getting worse. It became hard to talk and harder to breathe. We made it to the ER, and I remember digging out my wallet for my insurance card and ID to check in. That’s about all I remember.

“Next, I stopped breathing, as I learned much later. The ER nurses and doctors rushed to sedate me as they tried to perform a tracheotomy, with no success. They only had about two minutes before my brain started shutting down, starved of oxygen, so they decided to perform an intubation instead. THAT was successful.

“However, I was in a coma for close to three weeks, During that time the prognosis for my recovery was doubtful at best. Several doctors even told my husband that he might have ‘some hard decisions to make’ if I suffered irreparable brain damage. 

“Because the hospital we went to wasn’t adequately set up for my care, they moved me to a different one. Once there, while in ICU, I coded twice and they had to shock me with paddles to get my heart started again. My prognosis looked even worse at that time. I had a 50/50 chance of making it or not.

“Somehow, I came back. The doctors were stunned. Slowly and surely, they came to realize I was going to recover with most of my faculties still intact. They did tests, and the tests confirmed it.

“Moving, speaking, thinking, everything was like having to drag myself through a vat of molasses. But I had daily PT and cognitive therapy to make sure I stayed on the right track. My hubby stayed with me the entire time, as much as he could.

“Eventually I was released into an acute care facility. Needless to say, I was more than happy when they finally released me, not needing as much assistance as before for daily things like bathing, brushing my teeth or using the bathroom.

“Today, I still have to alternate between a walker, a wheelchair and a Rollator. I’m steadier on my feet, but still have to work through the effects of muscle atrophy that took place while I was in my coma. 

“If you take nothing else from my story, please consider this: if you are on lisinopril, ask your doctor about side effects. They might be too risky, as I discovered. Be an advocate for yourself and pay attention to the potential side effects of any medicines you take. I wish I had done so before my violent reaction.”

Why We Do What We Do:

This story is just one reason that we continue to write articles for www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. If we can prevent serious adverse reactions by providing drug side effect information that is understandable and reliable, then we have accomplished our mission. Below, you will find just a few examples of some of our posts about side effects.

Prednisone Side Effects:

One of our most visited articles was titled:

Prednisone Side Effects: Deal with the Devil?

Historically, it came up on the first page of a search for “prednisone side effects.” 466 people rated its quality 4.4 out of a possible 5 stars. There are over 1,000 comments associated with this post.

In this article, we point out that many people must take prednisone for conditions such as severe allergic reactions, optic neuritis or multiple sclerosis. Oncologists may prescribe prednisone to treat certain types of cancer. In these cases, prednisone may be life saving. In addition, however, we share some of the drug’s more worrisome side effects along with readers’ experiences with this corticosteroid.

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If you put “prednisone side effects” into a Google search now, you will discover that this People’s Pharmacy article has virtually disappeared. Anyone looking for this in-depth information from us will most likely be unsuccessful unless they know to include the full title of our post.

Gabapentin Side Effects:

Another highly ranked article from The People’s Pharmacy was:

Surprising Gabapentin Side Effects

It has 830 comments from visitors. At last count 10 million Americans take either gabapentin or its chemical cousin, pregabalin (Lyrica). These drugs are increasingly being prescribed for pain.

In this article, not only do we discuss side effects like fatigue, dizziness, confusion, depression and fuzzy thinking, but we provide in-depth information on withdrawal symptoms. This so-called “discontinuation syndrome” can be extremely serious. Few drug information websites provide the kind of investigative research on withdrawal reactions that we have.

What About Withdrawal?

The People’s Pharmacy has been alerting the public to withdrawal reactions for decades. This is not something drug companies are anxious to study. Even the FDA has been slow to pick up on this problem.

Here are just a few of our once highly-ranked articles:

Tramadol Side Effects and Withdrawal Are Daunting

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Side Effects & Withdrawal

Zyrtec Withdrawal Is a Nightmare

We Aren’t the only Independent Website Affected by Google’s “Core Update:”

Another website, MedShadow.org, has also seen its traffic drop like a rock. The goals of this website:

Mission:

“To help people understand the risks & benefits of medicines.”

Vision:

“Protect lives and preserve quality of life by increasing awareness of the potential side effects of medicine.”

Here is what the people at MedShadow are asking:

Why Has MedShadow Disappeared from Google Search?” 

“On June 4, 2019 our site traffic dropped from 13,029 visits a day to 6,301… in one day. It has not recovered. We discovered that Google changed their search algorithm to deliberately suppress sites they didn’t consider credible and we fell into that category. We applaud Google’s attempts to stop the flood of miracle cure pills, get rich quick schemes and gamble your life away sites. But they’ve missed the target when they suppressed MedShadow. We aren’t one of the bad guys.

“We have reached out to Google to ask them why they’ve suppressed MedShadow’s standing. But Google has not responded”

“We would like Google to recognize that MedShadow is one of the few health journalism sites that refuses pharmaceutical and medical device advertising or support.”

Home Remedies, Herbs and Dietary Supplements?

Another reason our People’s Pharmacy web traffic is down so precipitously might be because we also write about home remedies, herbs and dietary supplements. The new Google search algorithm appears to discourage such information. It has certainly made it much harder for people to find us on the web.

We have been writing responsibly about home remedies for 40 years. We seek scientific documentation for such “alternative” approaches whenever it is available. And we always acknowledge when science is lacking. There is a surprising amount of well-conducted research to support herbal approaches to common ailments

What You Can Do to Help Support The People’s Pharmacy:

Because traffic to our website is down dramatically since the latest Google algorithm change has taken effect, we need your help to keep providing the kind of quality information you have come to rely on. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Whenever you read something interesting at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com please share it with friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances via email or social media. Please encourage them to sign up for our free newsletter.
  2. If you listen to our podcasts, please share these links with family, friends and anyone you think might be interested. Encourage them to also sign up for the free newsletter and our podcast. If you like our award-winning nationally syndicated radio show, please rate and review it on iTunes. When you do this, it raises our profile on iTunes and helps broaden our audience.
  3. Follow us on social media. We have active communities on both Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Choose to browse ad free. We wish we did not have to have any ads on www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. We have a new opportunity for you to help us along this path. You can go ad free by making a small monthly contribution at this link. As soon as you subscribe to our ad-free site you will get a clean and streamlined reading experience. If enough people subscribe, we may eventually be able to eliminate website ads for everyone.
  5. Become a People’s Pharmacy Partner. We strive to provide you with practical information that helps you make informed decisions about your health. Whether it’s drug side effect information you won’t read about anywhere else, dangerous drug interactions, generic drug misadventures or home remedies, we need your help to keep this effort going. You can make a one time or recurring donation at this link

Thank You for Supporting The People’s Pharmacy:

We are grateful for your loyalty and support. We think of The People’s Pharmacy as a community of people who care for one another’s well being. We could not manage this website without comments, stories and suggestions from our readers. We hope you will help us keep www.PeoplesPharmacy.com going strong for years to come.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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This is interesting, but not surprising. Our society is being controlled more and more by restricting what we are allowed to learn or even to know exists.

I remember not long ago hearing a news report about the recent measles outbreaks, and the reporter said these outbreaks were due to the proliferation of websites encouraging people not to vaccinate their children. They said these websites were misleading the public with false information, and something should be done to shut them down because this is endangering the public.

My first thought when I heard this was, “I must not have heard that right.” First of all, it used to be that news reporters just reported the facts, and never gave their opinion. They would report all viewpoints of any issue, and let us make up our own minds on what we thought about it. Not anymore. Many stories seem be reported from the angle of the reporter’s, or the TV station’s, opinion. We don’t get to hear about any other viewpoint than the one they want us to hear. In my opinion, that is endangering the public.

Maybe this is the result of Google feeling pressure to find some way to suppress what someone feels is “misinformation.” The danger of that is: who decides what is misinformation? It appears that since Google is not qualified to pick and choose what is legitimate information and what is not, searches for any kind of medical or drug information have anything other than mainstream sites like WebMD and such filtered out of any search results.

That is really scary, because I am absolutely sure this is not the only subject where they are filtering results to only give you what they want you to see. Most people are not even questioning the results they see because how would you know there is other information out there if you don’t see it in the search results. After all, if you already knew the information you were looking for, you wouldn’t be searching for it, right?

I have never done an internet search for your articles because years ago, my husband read your column in the newspaper and asked me to go to your site to get more information on something he read in your column. I have been subscribing to your newsletter and forwarding it to friends ever since. Your website is one of the first places I go for information. That is because you give us facts, links to the studies you get your facts from, and practical information on why things should concern us, as well as your readers anecdotes and experiences, whether or not they agree with your viewpoint.

When I very first started using the internet, it was common knowledge that you should not believe anything you read on the internet unless you know it to be true from some other source. So I started using the internet with the presumption that it was all BS unless I knew it to be true another way. That was a premise I already used in everything before the internet existed, so that was second nature to me. Sadly, it seems to me that society has largely abandoned that premise, and instead adopted the premise that “I read it on the internet so it must be true.” The result is that now we must be “protected” from what someone has determined is “misinformation.”

I believe that such determinations have everything to do with money. The entire existence of Google is about money. The results you see for any search term are determined by money and how much you have spent with them. There are entire businesses dedicated to making your website show up near the top of the results of any search. The more ads you buy from Google, the closer to the top your site will show up, because then you will spend even more money because your business will grow the more hits you get.

I don’t use Google at all. In fact, anything that requires a Google account, I don’t need. I don’t have a Gmail account, or a Google Play account. I remember my son telling me that I had to have a Google Play account to download apps on my phone. I told him I did not. If it needed a Google account then I don’t want it. As you can see, Google has become so ingrained into our society that, just like my son, people just thinks you have to use Google.

Sadly, I do not think Google will make any changes to reverse what they have done. If anything, I am afraid it is only going to embolden them to even further refine what they allow us to see. After all, they know what we are searching for, since they can tell you the top search terms people enter. So they control what information you see in your results. Pretty easy to control society that way – talk about meddling!

Charlotte Public radio station, WFAE no longer carries your program ! Charlotte Observer no longer carries your column! It appears the drug companies’ money is more important than the health/life of citizens!! Healthy lifestyle so important but not a money maker !!? ?

How did our society get so twisted ?
DRUG ADVERTISING !!

I’m so concerned about the health of my grandchildren and great grands !! Doing all I can to encourage cooking and eating healthy.

I am so sorry this is happening. I’m safe, since I already know about you and can just go to the site. But others who may be searching for useful info may never find you.

I first stumbled upon your site years ago, after a google search for either a home remedy or a side effect. I can’t remember which. But that’s how I first got there, and someone searching today would not have that benefit. Such a shame.

Your website is not the only one that seems to have been targeted. Another site that I use to get drug and health information is one that has been critical of the FDA. Google is under a lot of pressure from government because of its control over search.

Your columns on what is going on in the generic industry, lack of FDA action on dangerous OTC’s, slow response of the FDA concerning dangerous side effects RX drugs such as quinolones. I could go on. I do not think you have any friends at the FDA.

The fact that nothing is being done to do something about the cost of our bloated and corrupt health system is shameful. The politicians are doing nothing. Where are the ethics? My point is that there is big money involved and Pharma is determined to keep the obscene profits. Not to mention the PBMs, insurance industry, hospitals, surgical equipment, and all the others that are after their share.
.

This is a side effect of allowing the laws protecting net neutrality to be obliterated.

If you want to include Peoples Pharmacy, you can change your search from ‘drug side effect information’ to ‘drug side effect information peoples pharmacy.’ Then Google will include articles from PP as well others. For each result it shows which of your keywords were in that result.

Taking it one step forward, perhaps PP can find, form, or promote a non-profit that has strict guidelines for health information outside of the big companies. Then instead of adding peoplespharmacy to the search, you could add that non-profit name. Maybe ‘drug side effect information TrustedMedInformation.’ Then maybe Google will build it into their searches if the community can’t set up standards and manage it then don’t think Google can. For every PP there are 100 fake sites. Keep up the great work.

This is a very scary what Google is doing to you and many other well intentioned companies. By making critical information on their search engine regarding your health harder or impossible to find is criminal. This does not surprise me though in the world we live in now. I think a lot of this is being pushed by big drug companies that feel that your website is letting everyday people see what really is going on in the prescription drug world and that scares them. They don`t want people to know all the facts about the drugs they are taking.

Many people do not realize that you cannot sue a drug company for vaccine injury in the US. Major health journals are reporting fluoride in drinking water may cause lower IQs in children. They are now stating that pregnant mothers should be careful about consuming flurinated water. Maybe this is why the IQ of the US has been going down.

Think about it and keep up the good work you do.

While I do not trust Google at all and do not doubt your concerns about the algorithm change, I would also like to point out that you recently recreated your website.

I too have a web-based business, and when we replaced our site two years ago, the traffic dropped precipitously because the “crawlers” needed time to recognize the new site. I was warned about this by my web designers.

So the algorithm change might not be the only reason for the drop. You might want to ask your web consultants about this and see if there is improvement over the next few weeks. Our traffic rebounded to prior levels after about 4-6 weeks.

Hi Kate,

The drop in traffic actually occurred before we launched our new website design. That and the fact that so many other health websites have been affected makes us doubt that it is a “crawler” problem.

I have been following peoples pharmacy for over a decade & they have saved me tons of money & unanswered questions. Its one of the very rare places you can get real answers from real people & their experiences with medications & medical situations. If & when I need reliable info about drugs I will always choose the peoples pharmacy. They are not about making money or pushing drugs but more about the truth on how drugs may or may not react on different people & what if anything else there is out there to use. If google chooses to not use peoples pharmacy as a go to for the online consumers then all I can say is WHY??? We need peoples pharmacy as do everybody in america who wants to take control of their health. Hey google….. SHAME ON YOU!!!

Does DuckDuckGo search engine avoid these problems with health searches?

Welcome to the club of the very best, clean and informative sites on line. Almost every site i have trust in has also experienced a sudden huge drop in hits. Thank you for your work.

I started following People’s Pharmacy about 30 years ago. As a nurse, I am familiar with most drugs and issues with them. The “home remedies” section is my favorite. Managed to stop my husband’s cramps with tonic water. I was recently asked, by a friend, if I had any ideas about her eczema. Told her about cider vinegar topically. Saw her today and she was thrilled with the result. No more itching and her spots were going away.

I recently started taking care of my own health issues. I had hand tremors so bad that when I tried to use the mouse on my computer, it started running laps around the screen. After researching all my script meds, I quit my lisinopril. After a month being off it, the tremors are gone. They had been so bad that another nurse friend noticed it when we were out for dinner. I have many hobbies and could not imagine not being able to knit, crochet, sew or embroider again. Love this newsletter!

My email is also tampered with. Ads from companies I have done business with for years, such as Macy’s and J.C.Penny, are filtered out of my email. (And disgusting emails offering information on how to enlarge my penis and beautiful Asian dying to meet me are not filtered).
As a result, my email orders have gone from thousands $$$ to only a couple of hundred with companies whose ads such as Kohl’s that still get through. It is too much of a hassle to try to get to Macy’s. Recently The People’s Pharmacy Newsletter gets sent straight to my Junk Mail file, from which I can send it back to my regular email and open it.

Google and Examine.com

“Google is waging war on the peddling of magical pills and miracle cures by questionable health sites — and Examine.com seems to have been caught in the crossfire.”

“We support every single claim we make with studies (over 55,000 references on the website).”

https://examine.com/nutrition/google-update-july-2019/

I usually use Duck Duck Go but at times the results are not as comprehensive as Googles. And, I have used gmail for years. My Peoples Pharmacy newsletter has continued uninterrupted. I also have an ancient Juno email account to use for ordering from the internet. I plan to switch my Peoples Pharmacy back to Juno, or add it to Juno to see if they mess with it.

This site is so valuable. I agree with those who said Big Pharma probably has a hand in it.

I have followed People’s Pharmacy for years. Very reliable, informative and thorough. I simply could not do without the weekly email ! It’s a very scary thing to see how our information can be manipulated so much by Google and others. Scary. I will always be a loyal follower of the Graedon’s for the wonderful work they do.

Like Bird below, I don’t like google searches either because of tracking etc. I now use Brave or Tor (Tor was recommended by Edward Snowden) whenever possible. It’s not always possible though, as some websites ‘insist’ one use Google. Both of these browsers use DuckDuckGo. And neither of these websites track what one does on the internet.

BTW, love your podcasts. Very informative. Especially found Timothy McCall very interesting!

Some years ago, I eliminated everything Google.

Google wanted to combine all Google items such as email, Facebook and YouTube under one password. For security reasons, I didn’t want that. Facebook wasn’t a big deal but I was signing into email and YouTube on a regular basis.

It became harder and harder to sign into YouTube until one day my passwords didn’t work and my email account, all the emails and it’s addresses were simply gone. I cancelled my Facebook account shortly thereafter.

I never went back and never signed into YouTube again. Too much power. Stay away from anything Google.

Oh, this is scary news. I depend on People’s Pharmacy! I’m not personally affected, since I subscribe to the newsletter and when I search for information, “People’s Pharmacy” is in the search term.

Thanks for this information about Google. I’ll try to help.

Shall I complain to Google?

Is Google the only search engine doing this? I don’t use Google. I use DuckDuckGo on the recommendation of my web host. I tend to avoid Google whenever possible, nor do I order from Amazon, use Facebook, etc., instead going alternate routes of which there are many.

Not only are Google and these other tech elites suppressing information available on searches, but my email provider, Yahoo, stole two newsletters I had signed up for, from my inbox. Yours is still coming in, but Natural News and a homeopathic newsletter from Australia were both ripped out of my inbox with no explanation.

These people are not “protecting” us. We are grown-ups, and all our lives have been evaluating what we read and hear. The government, their subservient “authorities” like Google and Yahoo, and the corporations that sell drugs and other stuff do not intend us to be able to access information. The disgust this creates in us does the greedster bullies far more damage than they can imagine, because we are not stupid.

Stop using Google and switch to Duckduckgo.

I got rid of google search and their browser a year ago. Google has gone evil and this among many other reasons I think they need to be broken up.

Modern day book burning!

It’s extremely disappointing that your website, and other valuable sites, are being suppressed. One has to wonder about the credentials or expertise possessed by the persons who make decisions about a given site. Did someone somewhere just decide which key words to flag? Who would that be? Do we have any way of finding this information?

Your article highlighted two big issues for me:

1. The processes involved in deciding what information gets disseminated in general–on the web, on the news, in print. Where do censorship, free speech, editorship, etc. figure in? Small example: I’ve been continually frustrated by an inability to find professional level medical information–I typically end up with the head-patting pap, similar to dumbed down “patient information” brochures.

2. The providing of information about side effects is fragmented and lacks intelligent, useful standardization. Professional papers usually categorize side effects, dividing them up by severity and frequency. And EVERY observed side effect is reported. This is the way that side effect notification should be given the general pubic, whether that’s online, on television ads, in the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, in magazine ads, etc. I imagine Pharma would strongly push back on any such requirements.

Yes–there is a need to emphasize and make available valid, accurate information, in an understandable and useful way. There must, however, be established criteria, and ethical requirements which govern the actions of the gate-keepers.

Find out what incentives Google has to delete sites, and what gives them the right to pick and choose.
Maybe there will be alternate sites forming. It is a challenge that should be answered.

Absolutely shocking that Google is essentially censoring information that is vital to the health and well-being of the American public! But not really surprising, is it? Big Pharma has tentacles reaching into many aspects of our lives, especially with regard to modern medicine and insurance. Thank you for advocating for transparent information for us and remembering that home remedies and traditional supplements still have their place in our health needs. I will be helping support The People’s Pharmacy in your quest to remain an objective support system for all who take an interest in responsible health care.

P. S. Your information about Gabapentin saved me from taking it when it was prescribed a few months ago for bad shoulder injury pain, which quickly resolved with physical therapy, ice, and ibuprofen.

I know that you have written several good articles on anticholinergic drugs. So I Googled “anticholinergic drugs” and couldn’t find your site listed. I’ve relied on your expertise for a couple of decades – ever since I started reading your column in the Seattle Times. Perhaps it’s true: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I am amazed that Google controls so much of the internet. I don’t use Google search, I use DuckDuckGo, and still I could find only one article on this topic by People’s Pharmacy, and that was a story about a woman who suffered from the cough. Literally hundred(s) of articles, but no others by People’s Pharmacy!!! That is censorship of unbelievable magnitude and would like to find out how to stop it.

Surely this cannot be. Google is merely providing the searcher with the information based on their search request. That’s more or less Google’s and others’ take on censoring when pressed. Maybe when it happens to you – if you even realize it – it may be more obvious freedom of speech dependent on large private companies to make decisions in our interests is not always the best thing.

Google is now in bed with and supporting big pharma. We have deleted all Google search engines and any Google anything from our devices and like many who are offshoring their heath care and pharmaceuticals due to the corrupt broken, medical system in America, we will all need to offshore our real medical information also. Google and most news services allows the proliferation of political racism, lying and bigotry but yet surpasses real information that can actual help us. We need change!

Google is censoring all who challenge power-structure orthodoxy on ANY issue. Want to get back on the “good” side of Google’s algorithm? Don’t suggest natural alternatives to Big Pharma. Don’t question the safety of vaccines, fluoride, and chemical additives. Don’t mention geoengineering, cell phone radiation, and other environmental hazards.

As a follower of The Peoples’ Pharmacy for many years, I’m sad that others may miss your helpful information because of internet censorship. I encourage folks to quit Google entirely, and switch to other search engines such as StartPage.com, DuckDuckGo.com, or Yippy.com.

Thanks to People’s Pharmacy for years of providing much needed information to all of us who seek better and safer means to achieve health. Recents decisions by Google, a very popular search engine, has shaken my trust in their results when I use it. It actually has become rather chilling to realize we are most likely not getting the whole truth from their current search results.They have pulled so many great newsletters, including The People’s Pharmacy, puting people on meds without all the side-effect information needed, at much risk.

I will send my email newsletters from People’s Pharmacy to my friends for sure. I encourage others to do the same. I will also look for another search engine to get your health news without censure through algorithms. I’ll also alert my facebook friends and public to this disturbing trend.

We love and need you, People Pharmacy.

This censorship by Google is disturbing. It has negatively affected many legitimate sites (such as Prager U) It’s time for competitors to step up their game!
I will do my part by ‘sharing’ Peoples’ Pharmacy frequently!

I suggest you recommend DuckDuckGo as the search engine to use.

I am glad to see this article! I have been wondering the same thing. It is getting more difficult to learn the whole truth about many prescribed medicines and that is scary! Many of us who read your material and other material like it may understand the manipulation of results, but what is currently happening with Google and its burying of truth about medicines, in general, is indoctrinating many new readers and that is bad. I have been trying to share articles on social media. Not sure how long that will last with all the pulling of articles there.

It’s interesting you should say this now as I’ve discovered recently the absence of online articles that take issue with the current medical dogma. I’d been worried about the increasing number and side effect severity of the meds prescribed to my brother, some of which were on the Public Citizen Best Drugs/Worst drugs list–meds they advised: DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG. A side effect of one of the many drugs his doctor prescribed is sudden death from internal bleeding, especially for an older person. Other prescribed meds were contraindicated for a person with his health issues. It scared me to think my brother could die of the side effects in his prescribed meds. When he questioned the doctor he was told he should find another doctor.

While doing online searches for side effects of those prescribed meds, almost all of the results were from pharmaceutical companies and the mainstream medical sites like webmd, Mayo Clinic, Livestrong, etc. It was hard to find even medical journal articles that were contrary to AMA dogma unless I knew specifically what to look for.

I know women in their 80s being prescribed statins, developing diabetes and being told that’s better than dying from high cholesterol; women with chronic coughs being told they have bronchitis and given antibiotics for months only to find out it’s their blood pressure med–after they’ve specifically asked their trusted doctors if it could possibly be a med they’re taking.

It’s becoming difficult to find alternate medical information, even when it’s scientifically valid. In this country we are no longer even able to find the truth or think for ourselves or question the status quo.

I use the Duck Duck Go search engine as my primary because they don’t track but I do use Google for backup–and for email, mainly because I believe they’re vigilant in rooting out viruses & malware.

How unfortunate that a company whose founding principle was “Don’t be evil” has become just that. There is no such thing as a benevolent dictator.

I’m very saddened and worried to hear about Google’s censorship algorithm and its effects to your website and traffic.

I’ve honestly never seen your website come up when I’ve searched for anything health related. In fact, the first time I tried finding your website, I had a difficult time because I needed to add “the.”

To be truthful, I’m trying to get away from using Google. I feel as though they’ve gotten a bit too powerful.

And I’m always sharing articles, your newsletter and your website. Thanks for everything you do.

First, I find this newsletter invaluable! It is a platinum mine of excellent information and the concern for the public is totally evident. Second, I was boggled that there aren’t at LEAST 10,000,000 readers. No wonder big pharma, big food, and big medicine continue to wield so much power. I hope everyone eventually finds their way here. Third I use Bing as my search engine. I’ve wondered if it is slow sometimes because google is slowing it deliberately. I have no doubt “big power” from all players had a hand in the sudden obscurity of good information and that sizable sums of money were given as well. Please keep fighting the good fight and thank you.

I use Startpage.com for most of my searches. Because you are not part of the main stream medical mafia, this site, like most independent health-related sites, is on Google’s hate list. Google is a highly selective search site that filters results to fit their socialist agenda. You can bet that Big Pharma is influencing Google. All drugs can cause side effects, even simple pain relievers. Therefore, they are best avoided if possible. No one has to use Google, it just becomes habit or is automatically implanted in web browsers or software programs, much like Microsoft comes installed on most computers.

Have you recently made changes to your website? Those could also affect traffic. (I notice you’ve made changes to the newsletter.)

Hi Robyn,

The Google algorithm change happened prior to our redesigned website and newsletter. If anything, the new design should have been blessed by Google because it is faster and conforms to many of their recommendations.

I recently installed Yahoo Search app. Google is a dead end for searching for any type of info they don’t profit from. Yahoo continues to offer endless options. To find viable info one must dump Google.

The People’s Pharmacy has helped me with so many side effects and health information. I look forward to their Newsletters. They immediately were on the recall of Losartan a drug which caused me so many side effects to describe here. I would not have known without the help of the People’s Pharmacy. Do not let these big Tech Companies stop our freedom to learn and evaluate.

I’m not surprised the People’s Pharmacy is being “censored”. Medical authority is regularly challenged in your articles & they don’t like that. They want patients to obey their directives without questioning them. I had a discussion once with a PA at Deborah Heart & Lung hospital about herbal remedies. I’ve studied the use of medicinal herbs for 40 years & your articles reinforce much of what I’ve learned. She tried to convince me I was doing myself more harm than good. When I mentioned the People’s Pharmacy to her she just rolled her eyes & muttered “oh, THEM”. In my view they NEED to to be challenged. Doctors don’t know everything. They just think they do. Keep up the good work.

Please keep Peoples Pharmacy available of Google search. It is the most informative, truthful information on all drugs. It is time to know exactly what the pharmacies, big business and some doctors are pushing for the profits and not patient care.

I stopped using google years ago and haven’t looked back.

Thank you Joe & Terry for the information you provide! Your 2 most recent life-savers for me are hot water for itchy bites and black pepper to stop bleeding (I think it may speed healing too.) We seriously need an alternative to Google!

Google not only buries your information and other important websites, new gmail buries your newsletter and other such in the “promotions” list of mail rather than sending it to the “all mail” or priority section. People may not realize that it is hidden and miss receiving it.

This is scary. Is there any way we can address the problem more directly by getting through to Google? Perhaps a petition?

it used to be I could look at the PDR and learn a lot. You had to be a clinician at some level to understand it. Its gotten so expensive you just don’t see it around like you used to! Pharmacists are required by law to give product information but the local chains do not or give so little information it’s not even funny! No authoritative answers on oral budesonide that I can speak of. It’s gotten so profit-driven it’s dangerous. This is why after years in the field I tune into People’s pharmacy. Raised by a doctor who said “the least medication is the best” and a dad who showed me the use of plantain and witch hazel! Bet you don’t know about plantain!

Another example of cyber tampering by major internet presences, smacks of censorship akin to what social media has adopted. In a free country we don’t need corporate giants determining what we do and do not see. There are many forces who are trying to stomp out the free speech protected in our constitution. There are many alternate search engines available that you can choose as a default by changing your browser settings. Duck-Duck-Go is a search engine that doesn’t track and use data derived from what you search. I don’t know if their algorithm is less restrictive compared to Google, but there should be a search engine that doesn’t do the garbage that Google pulls.

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