Stem cell treatment poll results: how repeat shots boost costs

stem cell treatment poll

stem cell treatment pollOne of the most common questions about stem cells is economic as patients ask about stem cell treatment cost. How much is the price tag? Empowered with information patients can start thinking like consumers and look out for their own interests more vigorously.

I’ve blogged and done polls before about how much patients self-report having paid per treatment, but another important factor needs to be part of this equation: how many stem cell treatments each patient gets.

For instance, if a patient reports paying $5,000 per treatment that may on its own send one kind of economic message, but on the other hand if they got 10 such treatments the cost would approach $50,000. Note that some clinics give discounts to repeat customers so it’s not always simple multiplication, but costs do ramp up with multiple therapies.

For this reason I recently did a poll (still open) asking people to indicate how many separate stem cell treatments that they’ve gotten. You can see an image of the current results of this poll at left. While the most common answer was “one” treatment, in total about 2/3 of respondents had received more than one treatment with the second most common answer being “two”. Interestingly, quite a few people appear to have gotten many treatments, with about one in eight respondents self-reporting 20 or more stem cell therapies. This not only amplifies cost, but also risks in my view.

Of course, internet surveys are usually not particularly scientific, but they can give a general snapshot of things, and if we crunch the numbers from this latest poll, the mean number of treatments was about two-to-three factoring in the percentages. If this is fairly accurate, then the average patient is paying about 2-3 times as much as was suggested in the older poll on cost per treatment.

There’s still also the question of whether certain clinics are properly informing patients that the typical customer gets (and pays for) multiple separate stem cell shots over a period of months or years.

7 Comments


  1. Dear Paul,
    For those individuals that received more than 20 stem cell treatments you might inquire as to why they received so many? I would expect answers like terminal disease or unlimited funds or novelty or anti-aging or etc.
    Edward


  2. Apparently, stem cell therapy for some ailments, such as knee injuries, can actually cure a problem. But for a disease such as COPD emphysema, the stem cell treatment does not cure it, but it does supply new cells that can repopulate some of the cells in the lungs that supply oxygen, but the treatments don’t destroy the disease cells that are continually at war with the healthy lung cells. It is an on-gpoing battle, and the stem cell treatment is like sending in reinforcements to the battle. It helps you live longer with better life style, but does not cure your disease.

    That’s just my opinion after six treatements for COPD emphysema. I have had varying degrees of success with each of my treatments, some (especially the first treatment) were noticibly effective, and others were much more subtle in their affect on my breathing. But every treatment, including the last one, had relatively good results.


    • Dear rcartjewelry,
      I agree with your assessment for chronic and/or terminal diseases. Were your stem cell treatments from same source or different sources, i.e., bone marrow, adipose tissue, placenta, amnion, umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord, etc.?
      Edward


    • Hi rcartjewelry – you said “it does supply new cells that can repopulate some of the cells in the lungs that supply oxygen” – I´m curious to know what evidence there is for this. Did the clinic take biopsies and do hybridization analysis or something to show that new cells were related to the input stem cells. And was it only one cell type or were all lung cell types regenerated? Thanks for sharing.


  3. What is the average number of treatments required for severe bone on bone knees osteoporosis?
    How long between treatments? Are there diminishing results?


  4. Dear Alice,
    I suspect it all depends on the particular individual, their life style, medications/ supplements they take, and whether they have any other problems where their body might use the stem cells.

    Take care,
    Edward

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