I grew up in the Seattle area so it wasn’t great to see stem cell clinics operating there recently, but better news was the WA State AG filing suit against a clinic there. The action included the clinic parent firm US Stemology along with its leader Dr. Tami Meraglia.
The suit was filed only months ago and now there’s a big development already. Good news.
US Stemology to pay half million
WA AG Bob Ferguson gets a win in the case and there will be $500,000 to come from US Stemology.
A good chunk of that will go back to patients. So far it appears 107 past customers may be eligible to get some of their money back. These patients paid up to $10,000 for stem cell-related procedures. The press release says that Stemology doesn’t have the money to pay right now. For that reason payments will be made over time. In these kinds of cases, I wonder about the accountability of the physician involved, including financially.
From the AG:
“Attorney General’s Office shuts down US Stemology’s deceptive marketing, including claims that stem cell injections could treat COVID-19”
The clinic owned by US Stemology, Seattle Stem Cell Center, hasn’t been doing stem cell procedures for quite some time because of the AG investigation. Their website now has a pop up warning (see above).
More generally, some Seattle-area stem cell clinics have been very aggressive in marketing over the years, even quoting the FDA Commissioner.
Pattern of state AGs taking on clinics, while FDA is quiet
The Washington State AG action is part of a wider trend of state AGs taking action against stem cell clinics.
For instance see my interview with Beth Roxland on the Iowa and Nebraska cases.
In NY, the AG recently won millions against a Manhattan stem cell clinic and the doctor running it.
Meanwhile, the FDA has been conspicuously quiet on the stem cell clinic front. This lack of action comes even as it has been more than a year since their discretionary period on stem cells ended.
The FDA’s own statements raised big expectations for unprecedented actions on clinics during this time.
What’s next for US Stemology and Dr. Tami?
Without stem cells to sell, it’s not clear.
Dr. Tami offers hormone health and other approaches as well so presumably those will continue.
I hope they don’t move on to market other unproven biological therapies.