Don’t Fall for the Stem Cell Trap: Expensive and Unproven Therapies Preying on Long COVID Patients

Questionable Clinics Offer Unverified Stem Cell Therapy for Long COVID

Unproven stem cell treatment for Long COVID sold by clinics

Oct. 26, 2023 – Brace yourselves, folks! It seems like those sneaky companies selling snake oil are back at it again. This time, they’re targeting vulnerable patients suffering from long COVID, dishing out pricey and unproven stem cell therapies. Well, hold on to your hats, because we’ve got the scoop!

According to a recent report, a jaw-dropping 38 direct-to-consumer businesses have emerged, shamelessly peddling purported stem cell treatments to prevent and treat the pesky virus. And guess what? They’re not stopping there. These shady characters also claim they can cure post-COVID syndrome. Talk about ambitious fraudsters!

Leading the charge against this modern-day quackery is bioethics professor Leigh Turner, PhD, from the University of California. With a touch of sarcasm in his voice, he warned that regulators need to wake up and smell the coffee, as there are still plenty of businesses making outlandish claims. Seriously, folks, this charade needs to be stopped ASAP. Can’t these imposters find another gig, like selling snow to Eskimos?

Now, we all know that stem cells are the celebrities of the medical world. They’re the body’s very own “master cells” that have the extraordinary power to generate new cell types. It’s like they have a superhero cape hidden under their lab coats. However, before you get too excited and start waving your credit card around, let’s clarify one thing: these stem cell therapies have not been approved by regulators, okay? Trust me, they’re about as legit as the Loch Ness Monster.

In fact, the FDA, being the hero we all need, issued a stern warning back in 2019 against these so-called stem cell treatments for COVID-19. And yet, here we are, still fighting against this wave of deceit.

Now, let’s take a peek at where these deceitful clinics are hiding. Surprise, surprise! It turns out most of them are right under our noses. Twenty-four clinics are operating within the United States, while another 22 have set up shop in sunny Mexico. But wait, there’s more! They’ve also spread their wings to countries like the Cayman Islands, Malaysia, and even Ukraine. It’s like they’re playing one epic game of hide and seek!

As if taunting us, these fraudsters don’t come cheap. Oh no, they have the audacity to charge patients anywhere between $2,950 and a whopping $25,000 for their pointless stem cell products. You would think with that kind of money, they could at least throw in a free massage or a lifetime supply of bubble wrap!

But let’s get serious for a moment. Long COVID is no joke. It’s a debilitating condition that leaves people with brain fog, exhaustion that makes a sloth look like Usain Bolt, and headaches that feel like an army of miniature drummers setting up camp in your brain. To make matters worse, there are no proven treatments available. This perfect storm of vulnerability makes long COVID patients easy prey for false claims and snake oil salesmen.

Infectious disease specialist Kristin Englund from the Cleveland Clinic’s reCOVer clinic knows firsthand just how desperate these poor souls can be. Patients, worn down by their symptoms and longing to return to their pre-COVID lives, are grasping at any straw that promises relief. But Englund is there, shining a beacon of truth in this murky sea of deception. She warns patients about the potential side effects without any real benefits. It’s like going on a roller coaster that only goes downhill, my friends.

Meet Julia Moore Vogel, Ph.D., the patient-scientist extraordinaire who has been battling long COVID for three long years. Once a long-distance runner, she now counts her steps out of fear of exhaustion. Even faced with her struggles, Vogel refuses to fall for the empty promises of stem cell therapies. Like a scientist with a sixth sense, she knows that without solid research, these treatments are just as reliable as a magic eight ball.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the progress being made in the medical community. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA have embarked on multiple clinical trials to crack the code of long COVID. It’s like they’re Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, meticulously gathering evidence to solve this medical mystery. However, let’s not forget that we’re still knee-deep in the dark, murky waters of post-viral syndromes. It’s a bit like trying to find your way out of a labyrinthine maze blindfolded.

Infectious disease doctor Michael R. Jordan from Tufts University reminds us all, in his wise and calm demeanor, that there is no proven treatment for long COVID. Sure, there are studies and trials underway, but until the evidence is solid, patients should stick with licensed and experienced health care providers. In other words, don’t play doctor on the internet, my friends. Doctors have spent years acquiring all that knowledge, so let them do their thing.

So, there you have it, dear readers. Beware the seductive lure of stem cell therapies for long COVID. Don’t let these imposters fool you with their grandiose promises and sky-high price tags. Instead, let’s join forces, rely on the true heroes of healthcare, and remain vigilant against these fraudsters. Together, we can put an end to their shenanigans and pave the way for legitimate treatments for long COVID.

Are you worried about falling for dubious treatments? Join the conversation and share your experiences in the comments below! Remember, knowledge is power, my friends. Stay informed and stay safe.