MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public against receiving illegal glutathione and stem cell infusions, following the death of a woman who underwent these skin treatments.
Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa stated that the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not granted approval for the intravenous administration of glutathione for skin whitening.
“As of now, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved intravenous glutathione for skin whitening,” Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said at a press conference on Tuesday, January 16.
While stem cell treatments are available in the Philippines with stringent regulations in place, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa advised the public to exercise caution and choose clinics that are accredited.
“We also warn the public so that you may not end up in the morgue after lying on a clinical bed and waiting to look more beautiful or younger,” Herbosa said.
“Check if the stem cell clinic is licensed. If it’s not on the list, then it is illegal. Most of our stem cell facilities are situated in big hospitals,” he added.
Herbosa issued the cautionary statement in response to reports of a 39-year-old woman’s death shortly after receiving stem cell therapy and a glutathione injection at a clinic in Barangay Phil-Am, Quezon City, on January 9.
According to a report from the Quezon City Police District, a woman with chronic kidney disease experienced a seizure and lost consciousness following her treatment. She passed away approximately two hours later.
The death certificate cited “anaphylactic shock” as the immediate cause of death, indicating a severe allergic reaction that leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and constriction of air passageways, hindering breathing.
“Glutathione and stem cell intravenous infusion” was listed as the antecedent cause.
It remains unclear whether the family of the victim intends to file charges against the clinic.