FTC takes aim at deceptive stem cell therapy claims

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People spend billions of dollars each year on health-related products and treatments that don’t deliver. People who buy them are cheated out of their money, their time, and even their health.

The FTC says that California-based Regenerative Medical Group, Telehealth Medical Group, and Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, the founder of both companies, sold false hope at high prices.

These companies and Dr. Henderson used social media and websites to promote stem cell therapy for all kinds of health issues affecting older adults and children. Supposedly, it could treat and cure diseases and health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, autism, dementia, depression, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, heart disease, macular degeneration, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, and stroke. Defendants charged up to $15,000 for their initial stem cell therapy and up to $8,000 for follow-up treatments.

But, according to the FTC, these claims were not backed up by any scientific studies and, in fact, no studies have established that stem cells cure, treat, or reduce the severity of diseases or health conditions in humans. With the exception of a few FDA-approved treatments, stem cell therapy is still largely experimental.

Under the proposed settlement, the defendants can no longer make these claims, and they have to pay more than $500,000 in refunds to consumers.

Are you — or someone you know — thinking about stem cell therapy?

  • Be skeptical about amazing health claims.
  • Don’t trust a website just because it looks professional, uses medical terms, or has success stories from “real people.”
  • Talk to your health care professional before you consider any medical treatment.

For more information, see Buying Health Products and Services Online. If you think you’ve spotted health-related fraud, report it to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Comments

How sad that there are people so void of decency to prey upon those who are desperate to be healthy once again when they are ill with an incurable disease. Stem cell research is ongoing and it is promising but it is still a long ways from the claims this man made.

I’m one of those that was ripped off to the tune of almost $15,000.00 without possitive results. I have since had knee and shoulder replacement. All they said was, after I reported that it wasnt working, we’ll give it more time.

how about drug companies and doctors lying about their drugs?

Thank you for this very important stem cell information. I had considered buying a product that was advertised but, thanks to you, I will not.

Always find out by a second or better yet a thirds opinion on anything you do before you find out that you might put your life in Jepody

Thanks. Very helpful. I was considering the treatment for cartilidge replacement

My husband did stem cell transplant for cancer July 2 2018 now the cancer has spread all over his body and hes now on hospic

I've heard radio commercials stating the use of stem cell therapy for chronic pain. I was about to go for it, but know I don't think I will. Thanks for this report.

If the FTC and other agencies are so certain that the stem cell treatments being sold to the unsuspecting and desperate people with only the hope of curative actions, then why are the businesses engaged in marketing this line of treatment not shut down and the proprietors punished. The stem cell web sites all blame the the government agencies for being in alliance with the big med and big pharma industry from whence cometh big lobby bucks. I personally believe that our medical education / research foundations are being too tied up with the directives of the money industry and are derelict in the duty they have sworn to perform, that to find and prove or disprove the solutions that the good and not so good intention folks come along with.

I went to a stem cell seminar and thought it would work like they stated. I had it done and it didn't work. I am out $5,000.00 now. They wanted me to go to therapy and buy a brace which would have added to more money. Is there any way to go about getting money back for this? Would like info if anyone knows. Thanks

If you have seen a health-related fraud, please report it to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also contact the Attorney General in your state. 

Thank you for this information. We have heard of desperate parents going into debt for stem cell treatment for their child, hoping for a cure.

Very sad. Crooks have no soul.

What about those other "cures" that aren't stem cells but are still just as deceptive and you waste your money on these items with bogus health claims?

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