Google bans ad sales for unproven medical treatments

Google announced a new Google Ads Policy that targets unproven or experimental medical techniques. Google Ads revealed a new Healthcare and medicines policy that prohibits the advertising of "unproven or experimental medical techniques such as most stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy, and gene therapy."

This ban is part of the rulebook for companies hoping to sell advertisements (banners and such) to Google Ads, saying that these sorts of ads will no longer be accepted in the first place. The new policy will prohibit ads "selling treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis." To be clear – this does not (necessarily) mean that Google is standing against medical research.

"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." said Adrienne Biddings, Google Ads Policy Adviser. "At the same time, we have seen a rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments."

Biddings continued, saying how these treatments "can lead to dangerous health outcomes" and that because of the potential for bad actor involvement in the program, they feel that advertisements for unproven medical treatments "have no place" on Google's platforms.

Google only appears to wish to end the marketing of unproven medical therapies that can be dangerous and, in turn, give the good elements in medical testing a bad name. "Google's new policy banning advertising for speculative medicines is a much-needed and welcome step to curb the marketing of unscrupulous medical products such as unproven stem cell therapies," said Deepak Srivastava, President of The International Society for Stem Cell Research.

According to the official release for the update, Google Ads will continue to allow the placement and sale of advertisements for research, for clinical trials, and for clinician promotions of research findings.