MANILA – (UPDATED) The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) is now investigating the deaths of three politicians who died allegedly after undergoing stem cell treatment in Germany.
PMA president Dr. Leo Olarte still refused to name the three, except to say that they held notable posts in the country. He said the three died only this year, the latest incident was in April. One was a politician from Mindanao, he said.
Olarte told ABS-CBNnews.com that the details are still “sketchy” and they are still trying to contact the families.
He said, however, that they have good sources of information.
“They were given stem cells from sheep, rabbits and animals. They died after one year, they had late hypersensitivity reaction,” he said.
While the PMA has no jurisdiction over the health authorities who administered the therapies of the politicians, the end-result of the probe would be a warning of sorts for those who go abroad to seek help.
Unlike in the Philippines, the PMA said European countries are allowed to gather stem cells from animals, just like in Germany.
Olarte said the country already has experts, who are members of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine (PSSCM), competent to perform the treatment in the Philippines.
“We have more or less 400 specialists,” he said, even noting that the stem cell treatment in the country is much cheaper by 50% than what is being sold abroad.
He advised patients to choose those accredited by the Department of Health (DOH)
The PMA and PSSCM have already partnered with the DOH, the Professional Regulations Commission, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to go after those performing the treatment in the country without authority. – with reports from Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com and Dennis Datu, dzMM