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Google to lift ban on FDA-approved stem cell therapy ads

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San Francisco, May 11 (IANS) Tech giant Google is set to remove the ban imposed on FDA-approved stem cell therapy ads from July.

The move, which is to update its healthcare and medicine policy, will be effective from July 11.

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“The update will permit the promotion of FDA-licensed or approved cell or gene therapies in the US by entities that hold the relevant FDA-issued licence or approval to market that product.

“We will begin rolling out the policy update on July 11, 2022 with full enforcement ramping up over approximately 4 weeks,” the company said in a statement.

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However, companies that do not have an FDA-issued licence or approval will still be unable to promote cell therapies and gene therapies on Google Ads.

In 2019, Google had announced a policy to prohibit advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques such as most stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy, and gene therapy owing to “rise in bad actors”.

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“Rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments,” the company had said.

“Oftentimes, these treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes and we feel they have no place on our platforms,” it added.

The policy prohibited ads selling treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis. It also included treatments that are rooted in basic scientific findings and preliminary clinical experience, but currently have insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use.

In the 2022 update, Google also clarified “policy language to allow ads for cell or gene therapies, globally, that are exclusively educational or informational in nature, regardless of regulatory approval status.”

Stem cell therapy is a broad term for medical treatments that use stem cells, which can develop into any cell type. There are some evidence-based applications for the cells, like to treat some cancers, and there are around two dozen FDA-approved cell-and gene-therapy products.

But most uses for stem cells are unproven, experimental, and can be dangerous.



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Pragya Jaiswal

Karan Kundrra

Hina Khan

Sidharth Shukla

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