U.K. forces Google to remove websites selling gender-affirming medications

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05/20/2024

The United Kingdom is continuing its attempt to make gender-affirming healthcare less accessible for transgender people by forcing Google’s search engine to remove any regional search results for two pharmaceutical websites that sell hormones without requiring a prescription. An operator of one of the sites said that Google was “not obligated” to remove it from its search listings, but Google said the removal was “guided by local law.” Now, trans people in the U.K. will have to endure long waiting lists and high prices to get hormones through the government’s official National Health Service (NHS). The NHS has been reducing its services for trans people after the recent release of the heavily biased Cass Review, which excluded hundreds of studies to advise against providing gender-affirming care. The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reportedly contacted Google and told them to remove search results from the two sites, whose domain names and URLs have not been publicly identified in news reports. The MHRA said the sites violated the 2012 Human Medicines Regulations, a law that prohibits the sale of any “medicinal product from illegally trading online suppliers,” PinkNews reported.

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