More Canadian clinics are offering unproven stem cell therapies, study finds

(Canadian Press) — Dozens of unlicensed clinics offering stem cell treatments for a wide variety of medical conditions have sprung up in Canada, marketing their services through direct-to-consumer online advertising, a study has found.

Canadian-born researcher Leigh Turner, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Centre for Bioethics, identified 30 businesses marketing stem cell therapies at 43 clinics across Canada.

The clinics aren’t approved by Health Canada, nor are their services covered by provincial health insurance plans, meaning patients typically pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for what he calls “unproven” stem cell therapies.

“I think it’s hard for individual patients to navigate what’s out there,” Turner said in an interview from Minneapolis-St. Paul.

“And the sicker you are and the more desperate you are and the more hopeful that there’s something out there, the easier it is to be taken advantage of by businesses that are savvy marketers,” he said. (…)

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