Texas took a massive step this summer when they passed a bill which allowed patients suffering from terminal illness to legally seek stem cell therapy.
Prior to this, patients had very little say in the kinds of treatment options they had access to primarily because of the FDAs resistance to most form of alternative treatment and therapy. The bill intends to allow those suffering from illnesses, that conventional methods have been unable to cure, a shot at alternative therapies that, at times, can be nothing short of life changing.
The bill is a huge win for patients as it allows them the due freedom to seek and receive treatment that is already known to have massive benefits when in a life or death situation among others.
Back Story: The fight to access adult stem cells
Physicians who have taken to applying adult stem cell treatment in recent years are largely clueless about the history of this scrimmage between the FDA and those offering effective alternative treatment.
Though the scapegoat has always been concern for patient safety, a very big factor that undeniably comes into play is the FDA’s fear of what alternative treatment forms would do to the pharmaceutical industry (which they control and regulate).
The pharmaceutical companies, as we all know, profit from the sale of drugs. Rejection by the FDA of viable alternative treatment gives them more time to develop drug based alternatives (likely with more hidden side effects), but hey, and that is what has been happening since the 90s.
Patients Victorious over Federal Control
The Texas legislature worked hard pushing the adult stem cell bill this summer. There were of course, those working against it too. The result however, was a pretty solid adult stem cell bill that clearly states that physicians in Texas are permitted to use adult stem cell therapy in chronically ill patients. The bill manages to cover those currently receiving the treatment. Take a look if you feel like.
Bill Provisions Include
- IRB approval is mandatory for treatment and can be hospital or university based.
- All therapy results are to be reported back to the concerned IRB
- The Texas Medical Board is prohibited from going after any physician offering such care provided the standards of care and bill’s provisions are adhered to.
Universities and Academics
Universities today, as known to some, are a massive business. It is no longer about going against the tides and struggling to achieve bigger cause of well researched effective medicine for everyone.
If you don’t believe this, a simple click to visit the ProPublica website, Dollars for docs and you will realize how much university physicians have really been profiting.
Pharma companies offer bench scientists a fair bit of money for cell biology patents, through university based profit sharing agreements. Even if there is a dearth of vendible patents, moving adult stem cell research to the background would mean reduced funding.
Organized science groups such as ISSCR have gone as far as hiring PR firms to ensure that the idea that comes across is that adult stem cells are not yet ready for use in patients. This contradicts much of the research based evidence available today.
Patient Opinions Taken into Account
The beauty of the Texas bill is that patients have been given a voice and the autonomy to choose what is best for them in the face of academic and corporate resistance through legislation!
Patients and their opinions were more often than not underrepresented in such studies. The result was a large number of people angry because academics were literally getting in the way of them attending to their own suffering and hence the bill was pushed forth.
After having personally witnessed this decade long back and forth struggle, I am nothing short of impressed by adult stem cell groups like Patients for Stem Cells who managed to mobilize numerous Texas legislators in their favor though sheer persistence.
The New FDA Chief
Unknown to a number of my peers, the new FDA chief, Dr. Gottlieb is an adult stem cell advocate responsible for an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal published in 2012.
What is significant is that in this, he criticized the FDA administration at the time for attempting to derive drugs out of the body parts of patients.
Bearing this in mind, and taking in to account this new legislation, one might feel this is exactly what is needed to make abundantly clear the fact that it is perfectly acceptable for terminally ill patients to attempt to use their own cells in order to heal.
In conclusion? Control of adult stem cell use information and research no longer rests in the hands of academics but in the hands of the patients concerned.
This is long overdue. If academia now fails to revise the way they have been conducting themselves to date, it might just condemn its self to irrelevance with regards to this subject in future!
Learn more about the stem cell injection options available at Well Life Family Medicine.
*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenerative Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.