"Callers seeking treatment from StemGenex, a La Jolla medical clinic offering stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and other serious ailments, were hoping to hear encouraging news. For many, that’s what they got.
"Plaintiffs allege in depositions filed in a federal court lawsuit that they were told the clinic had a 90% 'success rate' in treating its patients. Indeed, as they could tell from the StemGenex website or from promotional material sent them, the clinic had a 100% patient satisfaction rating. Hundreds of customers were treated from December 2013 through February 2017, according to a list the clinic provided to the plaintiffs. The clinic’s standard fee was $14,900 per treatment, not including travel.
"As it turned out, however, the success rate they cited was inaccurate, according to former executives. The 'patient satisfaction rating' had nothing to do with whether the treatments worked medically, the clinic’s co-founder and chief administrative officer, Rita Alexander, said in a deposition, but referred only to features such as the hotel accommodations the patients received. The 'rating' was the product of a questionnaire filled out by patients the day after their procedures, typically while they were still recovering from surgery and while a clinic employee stood by..."
Full Story: latimes.com/business/hiltzi...
"StemGenex also pondered a strong response to negative publicity it began to receive in 2016. The clinic sought advice from reputation management firms on how to suppress online criticism. According to an email exchange filed with the court, a California firm called the Reputation Group asked for $19,500 to try to force the removal from search indexes of at least three troubling online posts — two linking to a critical investigative news clip from San Diego Channel 10, and another posted by the state’s stem cell program, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) based on the Channel 10 report — or at least to make them show up less prominently in searches."
SD Ch10 Clip: