Google Play has updated its developer policy once more. This time, the search giant will ban apps that promote or sell ‘unapproved substances'. The change is part of Google's continual struggle to remove inappropriate apps from its store.
Google has produced a list of banned supplements and pharmaceuticals, but clicking the link presents the user with ‘Sorry, this page can't be found'.
It does, however, have some guidelines examples. The list includes ephedra, a plant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. The FDA recently banned supplements with ephedrine alkaloids due to studies that linked it to side effects and deaths. Products with ephedra extracts that don't contain the alkaloids aren't banned, but Google appears to be erring on the side of caution.
Banned Substances Guidelines
Google Play has also banned the following:
- “Products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in relation to weight loss or weight control, or when promoted in conjunction with anabolic steroids
- Herbal and dietary supplements with active pharmaceutical or dangerous ingredients
- False or misleading health claims, including claims implying that a product is as effective as prescription drugs or controlled substances
- Non-government approved products that are marketed in a way that implies that they're safe or effective for use in preventing, curing, or treating a particular disease or ailment
- Products that have been subject to any government or regulatory action or warning
- Products with names that are confusingly similar to an unapproved pharmaceutical or supplement or controlled substance.”
Google already prohibits certain substances in its advertising policy. In that case, it includes substances like Cannabidiol, Afterburn, Muscle Mass, and more. It's currently unclear which apps Google has banned if any. You can find more information about the changes at the developer center.