Google has announced that it will no longer run ads for unproven or experimental medical techniques, following the marketing of untested procedures like stem cell therapy, cellular therapy, and gene therapy that have led to blindness in some patients.
The FDA won a case, in June, to shut down a single clinic in Florida, the entire field is still largely unregulated, and the science unproven.
According to Google’s announcement, the new policy will bar both treatments with “no established biomedical or scientific basis” at all, as well as ones with “insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use.” While Google hasn’t provided details as to what exactly the spike in dangerous ads looks like in more concrete, numerical terms, the company says that the ads have “no place on our platforms”
Google will still allow ads to promote research, along with clinical trials, so long as they follow the rest of the rules in Google’s healthcare and medicine advertisements policy. The company also notes that it will continue to evaluate ongoing research and will continue to revise its policies as needed in the future.