Does FDA underregulate stem cell treatments?

NBC News did a big on-line story followed by a NBC Nightly News Segment on dubious stem cell therapies on Friday.

Normally a national news story highlighting the problem of the mushrooming number of stem cell clinics selling unapproved “treatments” would be a positive development, but these otherwise very nicely done stories might have a major error that could confuse millions of viewers.

The NBC story by Anna Schecter and Stacey Naggiar is entitled “Costly, Unproven Stem Cell Therapy for Neurological Disorders Questioned”. It focused on Cell Surgical Network, a franchising chain of stem cell clinics selling non-FDA approved, fat-based stem cell interventions  for a host of conditions. For background see my interview with the leaders of Cell Surgical Network and another post on my concerns about their operations.

Overall this was a very well-done, balanced NBC report, but a key part of this story was a bombshell claim by NBC that the FDA does not regulate these stem cell “treatments”. This seems frankly very difficult to believe.

For example, the FDA just issued new guidance in the last few weeks that is consistent with their continued regulation of these stem cell treatments. I also just this week posted my interview with the FDA in which they indicated in their own words no apparent change in policy. So it sure would seem the FDA is in fact regulating these stem cell “treatments” even if they are going about it more slowly than many of us would wish.

Read full, original article: Did NBC News Err on Key Part of Their Stem Cell Report?

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