There has been a lot of excitement and media attention over the arrests by the FBI and the indictments of several people on charges related to alleged unlawful stem cell practices. Keep in mind that all these folks are innocent until proven guilty.
Anyhow, you might wonder how the FBI got its info, etc?
Was there a stem cell informant/informer?
I doubt it.
The FBI likely could get most of its information from publicly available sources such as the web because the stem cell clinic folks had to advertise to get patients.
However, someone in the stem cell universe, in fact the owner of the stem cell blog that Google most often lists as the #1 hit for the search “stem cell blog”, David Granovsky, has just published a piece calling himself “The Stem Cell Informer”. At least that is my reading of his piece–he is implying that he is the informer he mentions in his article.
But I believe that what Mr. Granovsky means by “informer” is not what you might think. It is my impression (and I could be wrong) that Mr. Granovsky means someone who provides information by his use of the term “informer”, not like an informant. More like an educator.
In this article, Mr. Granovsky talks about “a guy” who has all these stem cell connections, a guy who can connect patients with the best stem cell doctors in the world to get treatment. Granovsky seems to indicate he is that guy.
In fact, Granovsky even supplies an online form for you to fill out to set up getting your stem cell treatment through him. This form seems quite similar to the one that Don Margolis has on his website too.
There are some important questions that the readers of my blog want to know about how Granovsky and Margolis connect patients with clinics. I’m listing the questions here and perhaps they will let us know the answers, which would go a long way to helping patients make the most informed decisions about their own medical treatments if they involve stem cells.
1) As people who link patients with stem cell clinics, do you get paid and if so, how much?
2) Given that these stem cell clinics apparently are doing great things, please tell us specifically which clinics that you refer patients to? Educate us about them. Can you provide weblinks?
3) Who are the medical doctors who are the leaders of these clinics? What can you tell us about them? Where were they educated as physicians and what is their experience with stem cells?
4) Are the clinics that you refer patients to in contact with the FDA to make sure that their procedures are in compliance with federal law? Or are these clinics all outside of the U.S.?
5) How much do these treatments cost? On your website, Mr. Margolis, you list prices up to $30,000 and possibly higher.
6) Can you provide data proving that these stem cell treatments are safe?