Since its establishment in 1990, the Belo Medical Group, a brainchild of renowned dermatologist Vicki Belo, has grown into a cosmetics empire. In the showbiz industry alone, the cosmetic clinic has become the go-to beauty haven for the biggest stars—thus promoting the business not only in the Philippines but also globally. However, recent news involving Belo Medical Clinic in Alabang could possibly tarnish their reputation as the “No. 1 Beauty Expert” in the country.
Last Friday, February 9, ABS-CBN News reported that the Belo Medical Group was to halt the sale of some of their beauty products. Apparently, said products were found by its regulator to be unregistered, which called the attention of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What snowballed the order was the company’s branch located in Alabang, Muntinlupa, which reportedly sold “unregistered drug and unnotified cosmetic products”. Seen in the footage of the second test-buy operation by FDA officials was the clinic’s cashier purchasing P22,000-worth of products from the pharmacy.
Said products were identified as ZO Medical by Zein Obagi, MD Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator 10% concentration, ZO Medical by Zein Obagi Foamacleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser for all types, ZO Medical by Zein Obagi Oclipse Sunscreen/Primer SPF 30 Protection, Belo Illuminating Cream Alpha Arbutin+Liquorice, Belo Prescriptives Keralyt 2 Cream.
ZO Medical by Zein ObagiMD Melamix Skin Lightener & Blending Creme Hydroquinone USP 4%, ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Melanin Skin Bleaching & Correcting Creme Hydroquinone USP 4%, Belo Prescriptives Acne Astringent, Belo Prescriptives Belo White, Belo Prescriptives DLC Peeling Creme, and ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Cebatrol were also some of the products which were allegedly not registered with the FDA.
According to the chief of FDA Regulatory Enforcement Unit, Allen Bantolo, it is within the process of their agency to check all drugs and cosmetic products. This is to assure that everything is safe for use by the consumers.
What’s more, the Belo Medical Clinic in Alabang was reported to refuse the probe of their clinic and pharmacy—something that could put them in a graver situation, according to Bantolo:
“Even nga yung kanilang pharmacy na under jurisdiction ng aming FDA [hindi pina-inspect], when in fact, nasa batas din yon na they are supposed to allow inspectors for inspection. May provisions yan na pwede silang ma-contempt or obstruction of justice.”
Meanwhile, an official statement from the Belo Medical Group in light of the issue has been recently released. In the text, the firm maintained that their products are safe for use, and that they will abide by orders of the agency.
The statement reads:
“We have always ensured registration and renewal of registration of all our products. Hence, the inspection by FDA of one of our clinics is surprising and unfortunate,” the statement read.
“We assure our customers and the public of the safety of our products and our compliance with regulatory standards. We are submitting to FDA proof that we have been compliant with their regulations.”
What can you say about this controversy involving the Belo Medical Clinic in Alabang? Do you think that it was a bad move that they didn’t allow inspection of their clinic? Feel free to leave your thoughts and reactions in the comment section below!