Google bans ads for ‘unproven’ therapies

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Google said Friday it was banning online ads for unproven medical treatments including most stem cell and gene therapy.

“This new policy will prohibit ads selling treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis,” Google policy adviser Adrienne Biddings said in a blog post.

In fact, Biddings stated Google will “prohibit advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques such as most stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy and gene therapy.”

Moreover, Google plans to block “treatments that are rooted in basic scientific findings and preliminary clinical experience, but currently have insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use,” she added.

Indeed, Google decided to take action against “a rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments.”

In addition, they make the distinction between the role of medical discoveries and the bad actors:  “monitored, regulated clinical trials are the most reliable way to test and prove important medical advances.”

Furthermore, Deepak Srivastava, the president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research endorsed the move by Google. He stated, “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.”

Both Facebook and Google-owned YouTube addressed misleading health care claims following more media reports.

In addition, Facebook discourages misleading medical claims such as groups opposing the use of recommended vaccines.

Besides, The Wall Street Journal interviewed doctors, lawyers, privacy experts and others, and uncovered numerous false or misleading claims about cancer therapies online.

Finally, these groups were promoting potentially dangerous cell-killing ointments, unverified dietary regimes, or unapproved screening techniques.

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