Two PH stem cell therapy associations operate without PRC endorsements
PRC warns public, conducts investigations

The Department of Labor and Employment yesterday warned the public on the use of Stem Cell Therapy (SCT) for medical and aesthetic purpose, following a recent report which revealed 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).

In an inquiry made by the PRC to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), it 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 consummates its 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,” Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

“Failure to acquire such approval from these regulatory bodies,” she added, “only means that 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 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.”

As to 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 to be hand carried by registrant corporations. We shall strictly implement the policy that said documents should be mailed officially from your [PRC] end.”

Citing the Second Position Paper of the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine on Stem Cell Therapy and related concerns, PRC Chair Teresita Manzala said the government is wary on 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 only have to bring 10 patients for treatment, buy the machine, 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 public to help expose similar incidents to their attention by calling telephone numbers, (632) 310-0026 or (632) 735-4476, or visiting their main office at P. Paredes St. corner Morayta St., Sampaloc, Manila.

END/hjtg

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