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Regulating online drug ads, Google Book settlement, bottled water to the rescue

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Regulating online drug ads, Google Book settlement, bottled water to the rescue

1. HEALTH Yahoo being scrutinized online pharmaceutical ads.
CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on why the FDA needs to rethink its regulatory stance concerning online prescription-drug ads:
“FDA purports to examine the ‘net impression’ that reasonable consumers would get from an ad,” said Conko.  “But reasonable consumers don’t stop reading when they get search engine results.  Finding the landing page, where they’ll see the complete information FDA requires, is precisely what an Internet key word search is all about.  Ironically, banning sponsored link ads for drugs means word searches will return less information about safe and effective medicines and more about quack treatments that FDA doesn’t regulate.”
2. TECHNOLOGY Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon sign on to oppose the Google Book settlement.     CEI Expert Available to Comment: Information Policy Analyst Ryan Radia gives reasons why not to block the Google Book deal:   “Even if the settlement goes through, Google Books won’t be the only game in town.  Bookworms worried about privacy will still be able to visit libraries, bookstores, and online retailers.  And, importantly, the proposed settlement is non-exclusive.  While Google may end up being the only outlet for some hard-to-find books, other companies will still be able to negotiate similar deals with authors and publishers.  Few firms are likely to jump at the prospect of taking on the Google juggernaut, but the threat of market entry from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon will help to discipline Google.”   3. ENVIRONMENT Bottled water comes to the rescue after a recent contaminated tap water incident in Massachusetts.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Risk and Environmental Policy Angela Logomasini talks about whyoverregulation of bottled water is a bad idea:   “As wars and recessions loom, our leaders focus on the silliest issue of whether to slap nanny-state rules on the "menace" of bottled water.  When is consumer choice, convenience and good hydration a menace?  While both kinds of water are relatively safe, tap water has more health-related incidents by factors in the tens of thousands. Not surprisingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends bottled water for people with compromised immune systems.”   Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.