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Friday, October 4, 2019

Google bans ads for unproven medical treatments

Megan Graham
Originally posted September 6, 2019

Google on Friday announced a new health care and medicines policy that bans advertising for “unproven or experimental medical techniques,” which it says includes most stem cell, cellular and gene therapies.

A blog post from Google policy advisor Adrienne Biddings said the company will prohibit ads selling treatments “that have no established biomedical or scientific basis.” It will also extend the policy to treatments that are rooted in scientific findings and preliminary clinical experience “but currently have insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use.” The change was first reported by The Washington Post.

The new Google ads policy may put the heat on for the stem cell clinic industry, which has until recently been largely unregulated and has some players who have been accused of taking advantage of seriously ill patients, The Washington Post reported.

“We know that important medical discoveries often start as unproven ideas — and we believe that monitored, regulated clinical trials are the most reliable way to test and prove important medical advances,” Biddings said. “At the same time, we have seen a rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments. Often times, these treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes and we feel they have no place on our platforms.”

The Google post included a quote from the president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Deepak Srivastava, who said the new policy is a “much-needed and welcome step to curb the marketing of unscrupulous medical products such as unproven stem cell therapies.”

The info is here.