BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Attorney General's office is investigating a Bismarck stem cell clinic amid complaints that it provided improper information to patients about the benefits and costs of its services.
The subject of the formal investigation is West 2 North Medical Solutions, a clinic that has been offering stem cell injections for about a week and a half, the Bismarck Tribune reported . Clinic leadership has characterized the complaints as unfounded and unfair.
The North Dakota Consumer Protection Division has received or been notified of several complaints, division official Parrell Grossman.
Some complaints allege people attending seminars in Bismarck and Minot were told the clinic's treatments could help with any ailment and that injections work better than surgery. Grossman said the clinic's stem cell treatment does not appear to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which wasn't disclosed during the seminars.
Other complaints allege the seminars misstated prices for services that cost thousands of dollars, and that the clinic engaged in high-pressure sales calls. There also were reports that employee Dean Jones, a chiropractor who isn't licensed in the state, has represented himself as a medical doctor, Grossman said.
"While we await the results of our final investigation, we are initially very alarmed about the information we have learned to date," Grossman said.
Jones said the seminars are for individuals interested in regenerative medicine and that a lack of information exists because there aren't any other local clinics offering the service.
"It's disappointing to know that I have to go through this just to want to help people," Jones said.
The investigation follows six consumer calls and two complaints handled by the attorney general's office. The North Dakota Board of Medicine, the North Dakota State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the North Dakota Board of Nursing received calls as well, Grossman said.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com