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Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

A customer of ours wants a certification as a pharmaceutical manufacturer for his Adwords-account - which shouldn't be a problem since the company is one. However, the following problems arise from that situation.

1. The landing page of the product links to several online pharmacies (the channels for distribution), which is allowed in the case of Germany (where the product is sold). However, for this approach it's required that the online pharmacies are certified as well.

2. I can guarantee that the linked online pharmacies are without exception certified - all of them are using Google Adwords, and all of them use terms in their ad texts one can only use as a certified online pharmacy.

3. However, the idea the Google advertising policy section just checks internally whether the online pharmacies which are linked are certified or not: According to the ad policy representative, it's already a concession from Google that they allow linking to certified online pharmacies in the first place for that particular country, and that it's up to the Adwords customer in question to provide them with the individual certificates of all pharmacies involved.

4. Alas, it's indeed a problem for most of the pharmacies to actually come up with a certificate confirmation that's reliably valid - it's unclear how it should look like and where a valid confirmation can be requested; and whether it has even been handed out back when they applied to certification. One of them for example got an informal confirmation by a Google Adwords Team employee, which I doubt is a sufficient as a document.

Since the whole thing has turned out to be more complicated than initiatlly expected, we'd like to come up with a waterproof strategy to get these certificate confirmations. Two options:

5a. *If* the certificate is visible somewhere in an Adwords account and can be printed or otherwise linked to in a way it's acceptable for the ad policy section. In that case I'd write instructions how to get it and provide the online pharmacies with them so they can just mail the confirmation back to us.

5b. If the certificate isn't really visible anywhere (or that a print, link, or whatever wouldn't be accepted as valid by the ad policy section), the only other option is directly requesting it at Google. In that case, I'd like to know which form *is* acceptable for the ad policy section, and would create a template or blank form which I'd mail to the pharmacies involved so they can request the confirmation for their certification with as little effort as possible for them (and, more importantly, with as little leeway as possible to prevent them from screwing things up); which in turn would be turned in by our customer to Google to disperse any doubts over the legitimacy of these pharmacies.

It's particularly important that the approach we ultimately choose is certain to be acceptable for the ad policy section and leads to all pharmacies actually getting their confirmations and will also be accepted when our cusomter turns them in.

Any ideas or advice? Thanks in advance!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello there;

Changing Adwords Policy, is a long and tough process because of the regulatory and legal issues (especially in the pharmaceutical industry and more specifically within the EU, which has a strict pharma regulation)

The only solution I could think of, is providing Google certificates  for each pharmacy liked, as Google requires. 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the answer.

"The only solution I could think of, is providing Google certificates for each pharmacy liked, as Google requires. "

As I said, that's the idea, however, the question is how to exactly get a Google certificate which would be acceptable for the ad policy guys - to my knowledge Google doesn't hand out forgery-proof PDFs after the certification process.

The closest we got so far was that someone got an informal mail confirming the certification on request - and somehow I doubt that that'll cut it.

Re: Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Once you apply; you should include all distribution channels within your application, and provide for these channels the required information.  (While processing  your  application  Google might find that the "branches"  are already registered...)

 

Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're licensed by DIMDI and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads and landing pages. All pharmacies must be licensed, regardless of whether they offer only non-prescription products. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

Hi toaonyk,

 

3. ... According to the ad policy representative, it's already a concession from Google that they allow linking to certified online pharmacies in the first place for that particular country, and that it's up to the Adwords customer in question to provide them with the individual certificates of all pharmacies involved.

 

Wow, that's not very user friendly.  I'll dig into this and see if that's really the process that the policy representatives are supposed to follow.  I can't promise an answer anytime soon, though, because I'm going on vacation in a couple days.


4. Alas, it's indeed a problem for most of the pharmacies to actually come up with a certificate confirmation that's reliably valid - it's unclear how it should look like and where a valid confirmation can be requested;

 

For Germany, it looks like we require pharmacies to be registered with DIMIDI.  You might try asking the pharmacies that your customer links to to provide a copy of their DIMIDI certification.  Presumably they have some sort of letter from DIMIDI saying they're registered.  Or maybe you can convince the policy representative to just verify that they're in the DIMIDI list of registered pharmacies linked from this page.

 

5a. *If* the certificate is visible somewhere in an Adwords account and can be printed or otherwise linked to in a way it's acceptable for the ad policy section. In that case I'd write instructions how to get it and provide the online pharmacies with them so they can just mail the confirmation back to us.

 

I don't believe it is visible anywhere in the external AdWords interface.  However, it is visible internally.  If you have the AdWords customer IDs of the pharmacies your client links to, you could try asking the policy representative to look at those accounts' "ICS Account Settings page" to verify that the certificates are present.

 

Laura

AdWords review engineer

Re: Online pharmacy certification - where to get a confirmation?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

"Wow, that's not very user friendly.  I'll dig into this and see if that's really the process that the policy representatives are supposed to follow."

That was my first thought as well, though I blamed the fact that Google has an almost-monopoly on the German search engine market (and therefore can get away with a lot of things) on that.

But the way our Ageny Account Manager has worded it, it appears that it's more complicated to get to the individual certification status of a given Adwords account than I assumed.

"Or maybe you can convince the policy representative to just verify that they're in the DIMIDI list of registered pharmacies linked from this page."

That's very valuable advice, thanks a lot! I'll try to check all pharmacies listed there and see if they accept it.