Govt wary of stem cell therapy experts

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Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) chief Teresita Manzala admitted that the government is “wary on the growing number of unscrupulous physicians misrepresenting themselves as experts in stem cell therapy.”

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“We are concerned about reports that many doctors get the term ‘fellow, Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine’ appended to their names only have to bring 10 patients for treatment, buy the machine, and pay a certain amount to get their fellowship,” Manzala said citing the Second Position Paper of the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine on Stem Cell Therapy and related concerns.

She added that the physicians should avoid adopting an innovative procedure mainly on the basis of commercial promotions and marketing when the value or benefit of the procedure has not been proven.

“Objectivity and integrity should always be maintained. This is what professionalism and ethics in the practice of medicine dictate,” Manzala said.

Because of these reports, the PRC is calling the public to them expose anomalies or similar incidents before them.

Meanwhile, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Company Registration and Monitoring Department, acting director Ferdinand Sales, stressed that their office will be “constrained” to revoke the corporate registration of two stem cell therapy associations in the country for failure to secure the requisite endorsement from the PRC and the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBOM).

Sales said that their office is already probing and has instructed the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine Inc. (PSSCM) to submit their answers regarding the issues.

“The Commission is already conducting an investigation and has instructed the Board of Trustees of the PSSCM to file their answer; otherwise, we shall be constrained to proceed with the revocation of corporate registration on the ground of fraud in procuring its certificate of incorporation,” Sales stressed.

Based on the inquiry made by the PRC to the SEC, they found out that the PSSCM and the Philippine Stem Cell Society have falsified, if not failed, to submit such documentary requirements that legally consummates its SEC registration.

Further, the SEC official said that their office will initiate the proper proceedings after PSCS has allegedly failed to submit a PRC endorsement.

“To avoid similar incidents in the future, we shall no longer accept endorsements to be hand-carried by registrant corporations. We shall strictly implement the policy that said documents should be mailed officially from your [PRC] end,” he added.

As a result, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz warned the public “not to use the stem cell therapy for medical and aesthetic purpose.”

Robertzon F. Ramirez

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