Several of our Cellular Medicine Association members reported to me a spam email sent illegally to our members. Seems an attorney harvested names from our list and sent an email to solicit business and spreading falsehoods about me.
Since I’ve received quite a few emails wondering what’s going on, I’m writing this note to explain.
A few years ago, I mentored one of our members, Lisbeth Roy, in an way to bring her national attention. It was early in the rolling out of our procedures and I wanted a female physician to help spread the word. So…
(1) I taught her the procedures
(2) I taught her my best marketing techniques and spent time mentoring her in that direction.
(3) Then made her a teacher.
(4) I allowed her ghost writer to interview Me for Dr. Roy’s book.
(6) As a result, Dr. Roy developed a successful teaching program and I paid her to teach and I helped fill her classes.
Then things went sideways.
Dr. Roy asked me to make her choice of centrifuge (Emcyte) the only centrifuge we use. And she wanted me to send all of our members to her to purchase the centrifuge so that she could profit from the machine. It bothered me that teaching off label (the centrifuge is only approved to make PRP) and then profiting from the device (Emcyte) seemed to be against FDA policy. It’s exactly like an Allergan rep teaching you off label uses of Juvederm—in the US, they can’t because of a conflict of interest. But I tolerated her behavior for a short time.
Then her classes became more about selling the device and some of her students started coming to my class to learn the procedures and complaining to me about the quality of Dr. Roy’s classes.
She also built her own directory that started to draw traffic away from our directory.
After several warnings from me about my concerns, I cancelled her rights to teach the class and I quit helping fill her classes.
After this happened, she approached the US Patent & Trademark office and made blatantly false accusations against me in an effort to cancel our marks and make them generic.
Now she has sent an email full of lies to our members who have invested time and some of their best efforts into helping find ways to use these procedures and the ideas and research from these procedures to help others-and so discouraging them with lies.
Should she win her case and the marks go generic, I would have no ability to demand that anyone quit using the names. For example, the only thing that made the recent case with the aestheticians use of the “Vampire” name illegal (where two people contracted HIV) is the fact that the names are trademarked. It’s the only way we have to shut down those who would advertise the procedures for less than we can buy quality FDA-approved kits. Without the trademarks, I would not have been able to talk with Rolling Stone and others to help clean up the mess.
Should Dr. Roy win based on her false complaints to the US Patent & Trademark office, it’s true that you’d no longer pay monthly membership fees. It’s also true there would be no-one to spend the $800,000 the Cellular Medicine Association spent in 2018 to try and keep the imposters who do substandard medicine beat back from using our names to advertise anything at all.
But, Roy would be able to sell any PRP kit using our names to profit from the device.
Our policing takes time and is not perfect but has been largely effective at helping protect our reputation and our ability to profit enough to use quality supplies and still pay our staff and ourselves.
In fact, without the trademark intact, anyone could use the “Vampire” name to advertise anything as a “Vampire Facial.” A make-up artist could advertise a red mud mask as a Vampire Facial.
The same thing would happen with O-Shot® and with P-Shot® and anyone could use the names to mean anything…even non medical procedures done in anyway at all.
As a result, the names would become as valuable as “liquid facelift”—essentially becoming of no value to help communicate any degree of what will be done or with what degree of quality of care. Anyone will be able to teach any procedure (even things not related to PRP) at any price and call it a class about the Vampire Facial.
We will lose the source of the millions in advertising and research that our group has done thus far. There would also no longer be the CMA to issue certificates to help with securing reasonable rates on our malpractice insurance (our group has gained a reputation that helps with rates for many of our members).
Also, one of our members was successfully defended in court because he was following our accepted protocols…this protection would go away.
In summary, should Roy’s false accusations prevail at the US Patent & Trademark office prevail, then our investment in these names will become close to worthless in the US.
If justice rules, we will win this case. In the mean time, if you receive or have received a letter from Dr. Roy’s attorney (will be from a mail chimp address)…
- Mark the email as spam (since Roy’s attorney illegally harvested your name from our directory and emailed you by mass email without your permission).
- If you have time, forward the email sent by Roy’s attorney to the California Bar for illegally soliciting business in an attempt to gather more funds from you then to pile onto the Cellular Medicine Association and so to crush our group (there’s a short form to fill out, then attach the email).
I believe we will win, but courts can sometimes make unexpected rulings (it’s just a 3 person board, not a jury).
Again, I believe we will win and I will continue to spend money on marketing and research and on lawyering ($40,000 this month so far) to create better ways to help our patients and to bring a better life to us and our staff.
I continue to be honored by the quality of provider in our group and by our esteemed teachers. I’ll continue to fight for our reputation and to find better ways to help our patients without going broke from device manufacturers and insurance carriers who would take advantage of us.
Thank you very much for your continued loyalty.
Very best regards,
Charles Runels, MD
Cellular Medicine Association (who we are)<–
P.S. This is the first time I’ve ever made a post with anything negative about another doctor. I’m sad to have needed to do so to protect our work and the further helping and protection of those who need our services.