FTC Slams Stem Cell Therapy Clinic for Deceptive Health Claims

October 23, 2018 | Steven Shapiro | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Pharmaceuticals

On October 18, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with a California-based physician and the two companies he controlled. The FTC had alleged that Bryn Jarald Henderson, D.O., and his two companies, Regenerative Medical Group and Telehealth Medical Group, earned at least $3.3 million by offering “stem cell therapy” injections initially costing from $9,500 to $15,000. Patients were also encouraged to undergo multiple “booster” treatments costing between $5,000 and $8,000 each.

The FTC is the government agency charged with regulating advertising.  Its mission is to ensure that all advertising is truthful, non-misleading, and adequately substantiated. The FTC’s complaint against Dr. Henderson alleged that he and his companies claimed, without evidence, “that stem cell therapy could treat a wide range of serious diseases including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, strokes, and chronic kidney disease.”  Dr. Henderson’s website also claimed that the therapy could restore the vision of blind patients and “reverse autism symptoms.”

The settlement order imposes a $3.31 million judgment that will be partially suspended after $525,000 is paid to the FTC, and prohibits the defendants from making health claims in the future unless the claims are true and supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

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