Web site ads for stem cell treatments analyzed – Consumer Health Digest

The latest issue of Consumer Health Digest reports on a researcher who has identified 30 companies in Canada engaged in direct to consumer marketing of stem cells. Here’s an exerpt from the Consumer Health Digest.

Based on a series of Web searches, a researcher has identified 30 companies in Canada engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing of stem cell treatments offered at 43 distinct clinics in six provinces, with most located in Ontario. Her findings included:

  • Most of the companies advertised stem cell treatments only for orthopedic diseases and injuries, pain management, and sports-related injuries, but other companies offered treatments for cosmetic purposes, hair loss, neurological, aging, immunological diseases, muscular dystrophy, lung diseases, urological diseases, sex-related issues, and cardiac disease.
  • Sixteen of the companies disclosed no risks in Web ads, while the other 14 companies typically described only the possibility of short-term problems
  • Only two sites disclosed that serious risks were possible.
  • None provided information about long-term follow-up care.
  • Most companies advertised positive but unquantified claims, but five made explicit quantitative claims without links to supportive evidence.
  • Most of the companies did not disclose what they charge for their procedures. [Turner L. Direct-to-consumer marketing of stem cell interventions by Canadian businesses. Regenerative Medicine. Epub ahead of print, Sept 26, 2018]

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