Stem cell policy campaigner ISSCR has applauded Google’s new healthcare and medicines policy, that prohibits advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques. This ban will include most stem cell, cellular (non-stem) and gene therapy techniques.
The latest healthcare and medicines advertising policy released by Google targets unproven medical treatments advertising their services and has received full support from the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), which campaigns for stem cell policy.
ISSCR President, Deepak Srivastava, labels the new policy ‘a much-needed and welcome step to curb the marketing of unscrupulous medical products such as unproven stem cell therapies’.
The policy prohibits advertisements selling treatments with no biomedical or scientific basis. Importantly for the ISSCR, the new policy will also ban adverts for treatments based on scientific findings and in preliminary clinical stages but with insufficient clinical testing to justify widespread use. This nuance is critical for the ISSCR, an active opponent of the premature marketing of stem cell therapies that have not fully completed rigorous clinical trials.
Deepak Srivastava explained, “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. 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.”
The recent changes come as a result of Google regularly reviewing and revising their advertising policies. Adrienne Biddings, Google policy advisor, concluded “As new findings come to light and regulatory bodies oversee developments in this field, we will continue to evaluate our policies and make updates as needed.”