Google Says It's Banning Ads For Unproven Medical Treatments

It's a major step for patient safety.

Google announced a new health care policy that will prohibit advertising for "unproven or experimental medical techniques."

The move is an effort to stop predatory advertisements from taking advantage of sick patients who often find unproven medical treatments through Google search results. Google says the primary offenders are fake stem cell treatments along with cellular and gene therapies.


"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," Google policy adviser Adrienne Biddings wrote in a blog post. "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."

Earlier this week, A Plus reported on the stem cell treatment that helped save a man's eye. But Google is warning that many of the stem cell research advertised online is actually unproven and potentially dangerous. The company is also concerned it's giving unfounded hope to patients who are desperate for a cure.

"While stem cells have great potential to help us understand and treat a wide range of diseases, most stem cell interventions remain experimental and should only be offered to patients through well-regulated clinical trials," he said. "The premature marketing and commercialization of unproven stem cell products threatens public health, their confidence in biomedical research, and undermines the development of legitimate new therapies."

Google did say it would not prohibit research findings from being advertised. It also said that as new research comes out, the company would continue to update its policies.


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