There’s some also encouraging action at the state level on direct-to-consumer stem cell clinics operating without FDA approval including most recently in Washington State.
Last year here in California we passed a bill into law that (1) requires stem cell clinics selling non-FDA approved therapies to post notices for patients and (2) instructs the state medical board to keep track of the situation. Democratic Senator and Dr. Ed Hernandez was the sponsor.
More recently Republican lawmakers in the Florida State legislature sponsored a bill aiming to go much further with clinic oversight. Now Washington State has a pending bill (H.B. 2356) sponsored by Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody that would follow California’s lead in requiring clinic notices to patients.
You can learn more about the Washington bill in this opinion piece by two leaders in the stem cell research field up in the Seattle area, Drs. Chuck Murry and C. Anthony Blau of the University of Washington (UW). I was up visiting the UW just a few months ago to give a talk at their Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. It was great to visit there and learned a lot about the stem cell research ongoing at the UW including from Dr. Murry.
Topic of the Seattle area for-profit stem cell clinics also came up during the visit. The main newspaper up there, The Seattle Times, has run several ads for stem cell clinics selling unproven therapies that lack FDA approval just as we’ve seen happening across the U.S. with mainstream media ad buys these days including here in Sacramento.
I hope more common sense state laws get passed that then as laws provide consumer protections and protect patients. The Washington State bill seems right on track toward that goal. We’ll see if it and the Florida bill end up passing.