Updates to Google Play’s developer policy aims to block apps that promote and sell unapproved ingredients, supplements, or pharmaceuticals, including the weight loss extract, ephedra.
The search engine’s move to ban the apps aims to promote responsible innovation, and protect itself from any future liability. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned products containing ephedra extracts in 2004, making them illegal to be sold in the nation.
Changes to Google Play’s Policy
Google Play doesn’t allow apps that promote or sell banned substances, despite any claims of legality. Products banned include those containing:
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for the purposes of weight loss or control, or when marketed in conjunction with anabolic steroids
- Herbal and dietary supplements with active pharmaceutical or toxic ingredients
- Fake or misleading claims, including those that imply a product has the same efficacy as prescription drugs or controlled substances
- Those not approved by the government, but promoted in a way that implies they are safe, legal, and effective for curing or treating a specific medical condition
- Those that were subject to any government or regulatory action or warning
- Those with strange names that sound very close to an unapproved drug, supplement, or controlled substance
Additionally, it bans all items on its non-exhaustive list of prohibited pharmaceuticals and supplements.
Google Constantly Cleaning Out Malware and Bad Apps
On pretty regular basis, Google makes changes and removes bad apps that impact end users and Android devices. In addition to its updates to supplement-related policy, Google removed 22 other malicious apps from its store. The apps were built with backdoors, which allowed them to conduct ad fraud. This was a persistent type of malware that not only causes serious problems for end users, but they lead to significant financial losses because of the fake clicks.
Earlier this year, Google removed 85 dangerous apps from its Play Store that were listed on Play Store as games, TV, and remote control simulator apps but were discovered to be adware. Adware is a type of click-fraud app to repeatedly asks a user to push buttons over and over again on a full-screen ad after it’s downloaded and launched. This continues until the app crashes.
What This Means for Businesses
Like Google, payment service providers need to be vigilant when it comes to permitting what they allow to get sold and promoted. Violating state and federal laws is a quick way for merchant service providers to terminate your supplement merchant account. If you have an online or mobile business, this essentially shut down your business because you will no longer be able to accept credit and debit card payments.
Processors, e-commerce platforms, merchant service providers need to closely monitor any businesses that sell nutraceuticals or promote products that cure diseases without any evidence backing it up. Taking care of a merchant like this before it’s too late will save you from paying hefty fines.
When You’re Ready to Apply for a Supplement Merchant Account
If you operate a legal nutraceutical business that sells products that contain no harmful or illegal ingredients and you need processing, then contact eMerchantBroker.com (EMB). It specializes in working with high risk businesses, including this in the nutraceutical sector. Apply online today for a supplement merchant account. The process is simple and quick and eligible merchants get approved in just a few days.