July 1, 2022

Stem cell clinics rip off patients: comment

University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan has criticised those in the stem cell industry who use “intimidation” on “a group of scientists trying to speak up about the often fraudulent nature of their business.”
University of
Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan
has criticised those in the stem cell industry who use “intimidation” on “a
group of scientists trying to speak up about the often fraudulent nature of
their business.” In an editorial for MSNBC, Caplan expressed outrage at
“charlatan claims” of extraordinary “cures” on the internet that spark “worries
among stem cell researchers that the credibility of the entire field could be
damaged.” He censured the industry, citing treatments such as Yankee star
Bartolo Colón’s experimental shoulder treatment, saying they are “not anywhere
close to being ready for therapeutic use.” He criticised “marketing hype” and
“unfounded claims” about stem cell research and treatments.

Caplan criticised those
in the industry who “bully” scientists who speak out against it, arguing:

“…one of the few
reputable Internet sites that could set you straight about the knowns and
unknowns and lack of oversight by anyone of this rapidly growing marginal world
of medicine is no longer there. Lawyers representing some of the industry
clinics — most of which are operated in countries with weak medical oversight
— began threatening the scientists at the International Society for Stem Cell
Research (ISSCR), a nonprofit organization, with expensive lawsuits.”

“All the ISSCR
was going to do was to post information on what published evidence existed
about claims of cures, which providers had medical-ethics oversight committees
and which complied with regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Instead, some in
the industry launched a barrage of legal threats at the ISSCR which, as a small
scientific organization, felt it could not afford to fight even if, in the end,
they would win.”

“So, the stem
cell ‘therapy’ industry — many of whom seem more concerned with their
pocketbooks than with giving patients information — and some of whom are
involved in medicine that is more voodoo than science have bullied their
critics into submission. If you are sick or know someone with an incurable
disease, keep this in mind when considering the real value of a trip overseas
to find a miracle stem cell cure.” ~ MSNBC, Jul 18

Stem cell clinics rip off patients: comment
Jared Yee
Arthur Caplan
stem cells