New York stem cell clinic ordered to pay $5.1M for 'deceptive practices'

The state of New York has secured a $5.1 million judgment against Park Avenue Stem Cell and plastic surgeon Joel Singer, MD, for falsely and illegally advertising unlicensed stem cell procedures.

The now-defunct New York City clinic used its website, social media, newspapers and television commercials to advertise unproven stem cell treatments for several conditions, including urological diseases, cardiac/pulmonary disease, neurological diseases, autoimmune diseases and orthopedic conditions.  

The clinic's website said that stem cells "represent a medical breakthrough in the treatment of many chronic medical conditions," among other unsubstantiated claims, the New York State Office of the Attorney General said in a Nov. 25 news release.

Patients were charged almost $4,000 out of pocket per treatment, with some paying more than $20,000 for multiple treatments, according to the lawsuit. Most of the procedures involved adipose stem cells derived from the patient's own fat tissues.

"Consumers place a great deal of trust in healthcare professionals and should receive accurate information when undergoing medical treatments, but Park Avenue Stem Cell and its managing doctor violated that trust in an effort to line their pockets at the expense of patients' health," New York Attorney General Letitia James said. "Today's order makes clear that these deceptive practices will not be tolerated and that bad actors will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Dr. Singer did not immediately respond to Becker's request for comment.

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