Labor chief airs warning vs stem cell therapy
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Friday warned the public against the use of stem cell therapy (SCT) for medical and aesthetic purposes, citing reports that certain SCT associations in the country have been operating without the requisite endorsement from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBOM).
PRC Chair Teresita Manzala echoed Baldoz’s warning as she raised concern over the growing number of unscrupulous physicians misrepresenting themselves as experts in this field.
“We are concerned about reports that many doctors get the term ‘fellow, Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine’ appended to their names after presenting treatment for only 10 patients, buying a machine and paying a certain amount to get their fellowship,” Manzala said.
“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,” she added.
According to Baldoz, the PRC, in an inquiry made to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), found out that the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine Inc. (PSSCM) and the Philippine Stem Cell Society (PSCS) have falsified, if not failed, to submit such documentary requirements that legally consummate their SEC registration.
“The PRC and the PRBOM constitute the regulatory body for the practice of medicine in the country. In essence, the competencies of specialists, practice of SCT and the consequent SEC registration of SCT-related associations fall under their control and authority,” Baldoz said in a statement.
“Failure to acquire such approval from these regulatory bodies only means that they did not pass the scrutiny and monitoring procedures of its institutional review boards or ethics committees,” she explained.
In a statement issued by DOLE, Ferdinand Sales, acting director of the SEC-Company Registration and Monitoring Department, reportedly said that the commission was 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 was quoted in the statement as saying.
As for the PSCS, which failed to submit a PRC endorsement, Sales said the commission will initiate the proper proceedings, adding that:
“To avoid similar incidents in the future, we shall no longer accept endorsements hand-carried by registrant corporations. We shall strictly implement the policy that documents should be mailed officially from your [PRC] end.”
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