Baldoz warns public
PRC conducts investigations on 2 stem cell therapy groups without official endorsement
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday warned the public on the use of stem cell therapy (SCT) for medical and aesthetic purposes, following recent 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).
“The PRC, which is under the DOLE, and the PRBOM constitute the regulatory bodies for the practice of medicine in the Philippines. And it is under their control and authority that the competencies of specialists and the practice of SCT fall. I, therefore, warn the public against so-called SCT specialists and practitioners who are not endorsed by the PRC and the PRBOM, including groups of such people without official recognition as business organizations from the Securities and Exchange Commission,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz said that an inquiry made by the PRC with the SEC has revealed two such groups, the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine, Inc. (PSSCM) and the Philippine Stem Cell Society (PSCS) have falsified, if not failed, to submit documentary requirements that legally consummates their SEC registration.
“Failure to acquire such approval from these regulatory bodies,” she added, “only means they did not pass the scrutiny and monitoring procedures of its Institutional Review Boards or Ethics Committees.”
Ferdinand Sales, Acting Director of the SEC-Company Registration and Monitoring Department, said the Commission is already conducting an investigation and has instructed the Board of Trustees of the PSSCM to file its answer” on pain of the revocation of corporate registration due to fraud in procuring its certificate of incorporation.
As to the PSCS, which had failed to submit a PRC endorsement, Sales said the Commission will initiate proper proceedings.
“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.
Atty. Teresita Manzala, Chairman of the PRC, said the government is concerned about the growing number of unscrupulous physicians misrepresenting themselves as experts in this field, citing the Second Position Paper of the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine on Stem Cell Therapy and related concerns.
“We are concerned about reports that many doctors get the term, “Fellow, Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine”, appended to their names by only having to bring 10 patients for treatment, buy a machine or equipment, and pay a certain amount to get their ‘fellowship’,” Manzala said, adding:
“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.”
The PRC, on this note, strongly called on the public to help expose similar incidents and bring them to its attention by calling telephone numbers, (632) 310-0026 or (632) 735-4476, or visiting its main office at the corner of P. Paredes and Morayta Streets, Sampaloc, Manila.