FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2019
Attorney General’s Press Office/ 212-416-8060 firstname.lastname@example.org
Attorney General James Announces Lawsuit Against New York City Stem Cell Clinic for Scamming Vulnerable Patients Out Of Thousands
Park Avenue Stem Cell Deceived New Yorkers Into Paying Thousands of Dollars For Unproven And Potentially Harmful Stem Cell Procedures
NEW YORK —Attorney General Letitia James today announced a lawsuit filed against Park Avenue Stem Cell, a New York City for-profit stem cell clinic, and its managing doctor, Dr. Joel B. Singer, M.D., for allegedly engaging in fraudulent and illegal advertising regarding its stem cell procedures.
Through advertising efforts, the clinic led vulnerable patients to believe it could treat a variety of serious medical conditions using the patients’ own stem cells, including, but not limited to: urological diseases, erectile dysfunction, cardiac/pulmonary disease, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and ALS, various autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and orthopedic conditions. While stem cells hold promise for future use, there is currently no adequate scientific substantiation that stem cells can effectively treat any of these conditions. Despite this, the Defendants charged consumers nearly $4,000 per procedure, with many consumers paying for multiple procedures.
“Misleading vulnerable consumers who are desperate to find a treatment for serious and painful medical conditions is unacceptable, unlawful, and immoral,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “We will continue to investigate these types of clinics that shamelessly add to the suffering of these consumers by charging them thousands of dollars for treatments that they know are unproven.”
The complaint also alleges that Defendants misrepresented that their procedures were FDA-approved, that their patients are participating in an established research study, and that their procedures have been endorsed by several scientific and medical organizations.
In the United States, stem cell products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Currently, the only stem cell-based products that have been approved by the FDA are blood-forming stem cells derived from cord-blood, which have been approved for limited use. Instead, the defendants, used stem cells obtained from the patient’s own adipose tissue, commonly known as fat, for a wide range of conditions.
Until at least late 2018, Park Avenue Stem Cell was affiliated with the Cell Surgical Network, a California corporation that was sued by the FDA in May 2018 for allegedly administering stem cell products that were adulterated or misbranded and not approved. The FDA seeks a permanent injunction against the corporation, a related entity and their two main doctors. As an affiliate, Park Avenue Stem Cell followed the protocols prescribed by CSN.
For more information on important factors to consider when evaluating stem cell therapies, visit the FDA website.
This case is being handled by Special Counsel Mary Alestra, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia, all of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau. The Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau is overseen by Executive Deputy Attorney General of Economic Justice Christopher D’Angelo.