Healthcare and medicines

Our policy

Google restricts the promotion of healthcare-related content such as the following:
  • over-the-counter medication
  • prescription medication and information about prescription medication
  • online and offline pharmacies
  • pregnancy and fertility-related products and services
  • medical services and procedures
  • medical devices and tests
  • clinical trial recruitment
  • sexual enhancement treatments

The restrictions that apply to this content may vary depending on the product or service that you're promoting and the countries that you're targeting. Some content, such as unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements, can't be promoted anywhere.

Depending on the content that you're promoting and the countries where your ads appear, you may need to apply for pre-authorisation with Google before advertising healthcare-related content.

Examples of what's allowed in some circumstances

Here are some of the kinds of content that we restrict under this policy:

Prescription drugs

In most parts of the world, Google does not allow the use of prescription drug terms in ad text, landing pages or keywords.

  • For campaigns targeting Canada, New Zealand or the United States, certain businesses such as online pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers may use prescription drug terms in ad text and landing pages. These businesses must be certified by Google in order to serve ads – see how to apply below.
  • If your campaigns do not target Canada, New Zealand or the United States, you may not use prescription drug terms in ad text or landing pages.
  • In limited cases, and where permitted by local law, Google allows exceptions to this policy for public health and safety awareness campaigns from governmental or well-established non-profit health advocacy organisations. If you would like to apply for such an exception to use prescription drug terms in ad text, landing pages or keywords, please contact us.

See a non-exhaustive list of prescription drugs or active ingredients that are monitored under this policy.

Online pharmacies

Google restricts the promotion of online pharmacies. To determine whether an advertiser is promoting an online pharmacy, we consider a number of factors such as the content of your ads and site, as well as the products or services that you offer. For user safety and other reasons, we err on the side of caution in applying this policy, especially for landing pages that link or refer to content that in any way appears to be the online sale of medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter medicine.

Countries: Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies in only these countries:

  • Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States
Google does not allow the promotion of online pharmacies in other countries.

Keywords: Google allows online pharmacy advertisers to bid on keywords containing prescription drug terms in only the following countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.

Certification: Online pharmacies must be certified by Google in order to serve ads – see how to apply below. To be certified with Google, online pharmacies must be registered with the relevant pharmaceutical authorities in the countries that their ad campaign targets.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers
Google allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to advertise in select countries only.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers may promote prescription drugs in the following countries only:

  • Canada, New Zealand, United States

Pharmaceutical manufacturers may promote over-the-counter medicines in the following countries only:

  • Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States

Bulk drug manufacturers, medical professional suppliers and antibody/peptide/compound suppliers for commercial labs may advertise in the following countries only:

  • Canada, United States

Certification: Pharmaceutical manufacturers must be certified by Google in order to serve ads. See how to apply below.

Unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals and supplements
Google doesn't allow the promotion of the following content, irrespective of any claims of legality:
  • All items on this non-exhaustive list of prohibited pharmaceuticals and supplements
  • Products that contain ephedra
  • 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 does not allow the promotion of DHEA and Melatonin products anywhere except Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For additional information on the unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals and supplements that we monitor, please visit www.legitscript.com.

Medical devices

Google doesn't allow the promotion of medical devices outside the United States and Canada.

Medical services

Google allows the promotion of medical services everywhere in the world with exceptions affecting China, Hong Kong, Korea, Russia, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Please see the country-specific sections below for more details.

Clinical trial recruitment

Google doesn't allow the promotion of clinical trial recruitment except in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Promotions for clinical trial recruitment may not promote prescription drugs or create misleading expectations or effects of a product being tested, or imply that the product being tested is safe.

HIV home tests

Google prohibits the promotion of HIV home tests everywhere in the world except in the United States. In the United States, advertisers may promote home HIV tests that are FDA approved.

Paternity tests

Google does not allow the promotion of paternity tests in France, or secret paternity tests in Germany or the United Kingdom.

Abortion
Google doesn't allow ads related to abortion in the following countries:
  • Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saint Barthelemy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen
Birth control
Google doesn't allow ads related to birth control or fertility products in the following countries:
  • Bahrain, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

We've created this policy due to legal regulations and to ensure a positive user experience.

Family status

Google assigns a family status to all ads to make sure that ads are shown to an appropriate audience. Some healthcare products, like sexual enhancers and abortion pills, will be given a "non-family" status (if they otherwise adhere to our policies). In your account, you should see "Approved (non-family)" in the Status column of your Ads tab if your advertised products adhere to our policies.

Apply for certification to advertise with Google

Certain advertisers – such as online pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and others looking to use prescription drug terms in ad text, landing pages – need to be certified with Google in order to advertise. If you are such an advertiser, here's how to apply to be certified:

1. Adhere to all country-specific requirements below. If your campaign targets a country that isn't listed, then we don't allow the promotion of prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines by pharmaceutical manufacturers in that country.

2. Fill in our online pharmacy application form.

  • Please make sure that you include your AdWords customer ID, located at the top of your account pages.
  • To cut down on any unnecessary delays, make sure that you fill in all of the requested information.
  • If you are an agency applying on behalf of an advertiser, please send documentation detailing your relationship with the advertiser or licence holder.

How does this policy differ from country to country?

In addition to the content-based restrictions above, there may be further requirements based on the countries that your campaign targets. Click a country below to see additional requirements that you must meet in order for your ad campaign to target that country.

Australia
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia or Medicare Australia and don't use prescription drug terms in their ads and landing pages. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Abortion-inducing drugs Not allowed
In Australia, Google doesn't allow ads related to abortion-inducing drugs.
Belgium
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion of pharmacies if they offer prescription collection and delivery services in Belgium.
Brazil
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the National Health Inspection Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – ANVISA) and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads, landing pages and keywords.

Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.

Creatine, L-Carnitine or Carnitine, Polifenol de Alcachofra Not allowed
Google doesn't allow ads or landing pages that promote Creatine, L-Carnitine or Carnitine and Polifenol de Alcachofra in Brazil.
Canada
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows online pharmacies if they're accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Google requires the following NABP accreditation depending on the type of site:
  • VIPPS – Required for pharmacies with full online functionality, including the sale (or facilitation of sale) of prescription drugs or the acceptance of new prescription drug orders through their website.
  • e-Advertiser - Required for pharmacies (including pet pharmacies) with limited online functionality such as prescription refills or transfers.
  • Vet-VIPPS – Required for pet pharmacies with full online functionality, including the sale (or facilitation of sale) of prescription drugs and the acceptance of new prescription drug orders through their website.
Learn more or apply for NABP accreditation. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
China
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) of China and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads, landing pages and keywords. Advertising prescription collection and delivery services is not allowed. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Medical services Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of medical services in China as long as you submit the required documentation and have been certified by Google.
Germany
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're licensed by DIMDI and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads and landing pages. All pharmacies must be licensed, regardless of whether they offer only non-prescription products. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Hong Kong
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the Pharmaceutical Service, Department of Health of the Hong Kong Government, and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads, landing pages or keywords. Advertising prescription collection and delivery services is not permitted. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Plastic surgery Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion of plastic surgery in Hong Kong including surgeries for sight, hearing, balance, skin disease, hair or scalp.
Ireland
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Not allowed
In Ireland, Google doesn't allow the promotion of online pharmacies that offer prescription collection, delivery services, sale of non-medicinal products or online consultation.
Italy
Product Allowed?
Abortion and the "morning after" pill Not allowed
In Italy, Google doesn't allow ads related to abortion or the "morning after" pill.
India
Product Allowed?
Medical services Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of medical services as long as you don't promote a particular doctor or medical practitioner.
Japan
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies in Japan, as long as they provide a valid licence number for their "Licence for marketing authorisation holder". Advertising prescription collection and delivery services is not permitted. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Prescription drugs Allowed with limitations
Google doesn't allow the use of prescription drug terms in ad text, landing pages or keywords, with the following exceptions:
  • Websites accessible only to healthcare professionals, brick-and-mortar pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers may use prescription drug terms in keywords.
If you're an organisation qualified for these exceptions, please contact us via our online form.
Korea
Product Allowed?
Bricks and mortar pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of bricks and mortar pharmacies as long as they have completed the Registration for Establishment of Pharmacies with the head of local administrative district (Si/Gun/Gu). Advertisers may not promote any specific prescription drugs and illegal drugs which are monitored by the Ministry of Food & Drug Safety (MFDS). Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Medical services Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of medical services in Korea, in compliance with local regulation, as long as you submit the required documentation and have been certified by Google.
Mexico
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the COFEPRIS and don't promote prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines in their ads, landing pages and keywords. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Dietetic products Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion of dietetic products or supplements in Mexico.
Netherlands
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the Registratie en Informatie Beroepsbeoefenaren in de Zorg (RIBIZ) in its BIG register and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads and landing pages. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
New Zealand
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're accredited by the Ministry of Health. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Pakistan
Product Allowed?
Medical services Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of medical services as long as you don't promote a particular doctor or medical practitioner.
Polish
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion of any online pharmacies regardless of whether they offer prescription collection and delivery services.
Russia
Product Allowed?
Pharmaceutical manufacturers Allowed with limitations
Google allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to promote over-the-counter medicines in this location, in accordance with the local law. All such promotions that target Russia must include the following Russian text in the ad: "Есть противопоказания. Посоветуйтесь с врачом". Pharmaceutical manufacturers must also be certified with Google.
Medical services Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion of medical services in Russia.
Medical devices Not allowed
Google doesn't allow the promotion in Russia of medical devices and other medical tools and products that require special training.
Biologically active additives (BAAs) Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of biologically active additives (BAAs) in Russia but only if the ad includes the following disclaimer: "Не является лекарством".
Dietary supplements Allowed with limitations
Dietary supplements promoted in Russia must be registered in accordance with the law.
Baby food for children under one year old, breast milk supplements Allowed with limitations
Ads for baby food for children under one year of age, as well as ads for breast milk supplements, must include the following mandatory text: "Проконсультируйтесь со специалистом. Для детей с [укажите число] месяцев,"
Spain
Product Allowed?
Dietetic products Not allowed
Google doesn't allow ads or websites that promote weight-loss medical procedures.

Google doesn't allow ads or websites that promote weight-loss related products if they meet any of the following criteria:
  • Claim medicinal properties
  • Promise specific results
  • Use endorsements by individuals, celebrities or organisations
Abortion and the "morning after" pill Not allowed
In Spain, Google doesn't allow ads related to abortion or the "morning after" pill.
Sri Lanka
Product Allowed?
Medical services Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of medical services as long as you don't promote a particular doctor or medical practitioner.
Sweden
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the Swedish Medical Product Agency and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads, landing pages and keywords. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Taiwan
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the Department of Health (DOH) and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads, landing pages and keywords. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
United Kingdom
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows the promotion of online pharmacies if they're registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and don't promote prescription drugs in their ads and landing pages. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.
Teeth whitening products Not allowed
In the United Kingdom, Google doesn't allow teeth whitening products that contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide or chemicals that emit hydrogen peroxide.
United States
Product Allowed?
Online pharmacies Allowed with limitations
Google allows online pharmacies if they're accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Google requires the following NABP accreditation depending on the type of site:
  • VIPPS – Required for pharmacies with full online functionality, including the sale (or facilitation of sale) of prescription drugs or the acceptance of new prescription drug orders through their website.
  • e-Advertiser - Required for pharmacies (including pet pharmacies) with limited online functionality such as prescription refills or transfers.
  • Vet-VIPPS Required for pet pharmacies with full online functionality, including the sale (or facilitation of sale) of prescription drugs, and the acceptance of new prescription drug orders through their website.
Learn more or apply for NABP accreditation. Advertisers must also be certified with Google. See how to apply above.

What can I do if my ad gets disapproved?

If your ad gets disapproved for violating this policy, try reviewing the following tips to help resolve your issue:

Disapproval reason What does it mean? What do I do now?
Online pharmacy certification required

Pharmacy Society Registration Required
Your ad or website is promoting prescription drugs or related products but your account isn't certified by Google. Remove all references to promoting prescription drugs from your ad and website. Alternately, if you're a licensed online pharmacy, you can be certified with Google – see how to apply above.
Targeting does not match policy Your ad or website is promoting prescription drugs or related products and even though your account is certified by Google, your ad is targeting a country outside the country that you were certified for. Remove all references to promoting prescription drugs online from your ad and website. Alternatively, you can change your location targeting for your campaigns to match the country where you're certified to advertise your pharmacy. See the section above for more detail around country-specific restrictions for the countries that you're targeting.
URL does not match online pharmacy certification Your ad or website is promoting prescription drugs or related products, and even though your account is certified by Google, the website that the ad promotes doesn't match the website that's certified by Google. Remove all references to promoting prescription drugs online from your ad and website. Alternatively, you can change your ad to promote the website that was submitted in your certification request. If you'd like to use a new website as an online pharmacy, it must also be certified with Google – see how to apply above.
OTC drugs licence number required Your ad or website is promoting over-the-counter drugs without a licence number, and that's not allowed for at least one country that your campaign targets. Remove all references to over-the-counter drugs without a licence number from your ad and website. Alternatively, you can change your location targeting for your campaigns to target only countries where this service is allowed. See the section above for more detail around country-specific restrictions for the countries that you're targeting.
Rx drug reference & pharmaceutical manufacturers Your ad or website promotes pharmaceutical manufacturers and mentions branded drug names in the ad text, Display URL, website or keywords, and that isn't allowed for at least one country that your campaign targets. When promoting pharmaceutical manufacturers, remove all references to branded drug names in your ad text, Display URL, website and keywords. Alternatively, you can change your location targeting for your campaigns to target only countries where this service is allowed. See the section above for more detail around country-specific restrictions for the countries that you're targeting.
Prescription drug targeting Your ad or website is promoting prescription drugs, and that isn't allowed for at least one country that your campaign targets. Remove all references to prescription drugs and steroids from your ad and website. Alternatively, you can change your location targeting for your campaigns to target only countries where this service is allowed. See the section above for more detail around country-specific restrictions for the countries that you're targeting.
Clinical trial recruitment,
Unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements,
KFDA-Monitored OTC drugs/vitamins,
HIV home tests,
Secret paternity tests
Your ad or website is promoting a healthcare product that isn't allowed for at least one country that your campaign targets. Remove all references to the non-approved product from your ad and website. Alternatively, you can change your location targeting for your campaigns to target only countries where this service is allowed. See the section above for more detail around country-specific restrictions for the countries that you're targeting.

What can I do if my site gets suspended?

Review the guidelines above and make any necessary changes to your site. Once you've done that, request a re-review of your site by completing this contact form:
Request a re-review

If your site is re-enabled, your ads may resume running. If your ads remain disapproved, resubmit them for approval using the instructions below. We strive to review sites and ads as quickly as possible, usually within three working days. If you've been waiting more than three business days for your site or ads to be reviewed, please contact us.

How do I resubmit my ad for review?

If your ad gets disapproved, you can resubmit it for review by simply editing your ad and then saving it. To avoid getting disapproved again, make sure that your ad complies with our policies, and that you remove any references to unacceptable content before saving your ad.

Here's how to edit your ad:

  1. Visit your account's Ads tab.
  2. Hover over the row in the table that lists the ad that you want to edit. Click the pencil icon next to your ad, and you'll be able to edit your ad right there.
  3. Click Save when you've finished editing your ad.

After editing and saving your ad, the Status column will change from "Disapproved" to another status like "Under review" or "Eligible". We review most ads within 1 working day. Some reviews may take longer because some ads require a more complex review.

What happens if you violate this policy

  • Ad disapproval: Ads that don't follow this policy may get disapproved. A disapproved ad won't be able to run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
  • Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate this policy, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.
  • Account suspension: An account may get suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Contact information

If you still have questions about this policy, you can contact us via the link below. You'll be taken to a form where you can write to us about your issue.
Contact AdWords Support