Google has said it will stop allowing advertisement of experimental medical techniques on its platform. While the search giant allows advertisers to post healthcare ads on medical topics, the firm is responding to a growth in a number of scammers who might cost purse and limb from unsuspecting consumers.
“Today, we’re announcing a new Healthcare and medicines policy to prohibit advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques such as most stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy, and gene therapy. This new policy will prohibit ads selling treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis. The new policy also includes treatments that are rooted in basic scientific findings and preliminary clinical experience, but currently have insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use,” Ggke;s Adrienne Biddings, Policy Adviser said on Friday, “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. 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.”
Medical treatments can be dangerous things in the safest of siutations. Google allowing untested clinical tools to be advertised directly to consumers seemed like fertile lawsuit fodder, and the firm seems to have picked up on this.