FDA moves against stem cell clinics selling unapproved procedures in Florida, California

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Dr. Mark Berman with a patient at his California clinic. Image credit: Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration is asking federal courts on opposite sides of the country to permanently stop two stem cell companies from operating after reports of patients being blinded by their treatments.

In a statement Wednesday [May 9]…the FDA said U.S. Stem Cell Clinic in Florida, the Cell Surgical Network in California and others like them are exploiting patients desperate for cures and causing some of them “serious and permanent harm.”

Hundreds of such clinics have popped up across the country in recent years, many promoting treatments for conditions including Parkinson’s disease, autism and multiple sclerosis. Federal regulators have not approved any of their procedures, and critics liken the facilities to modern-day snake-oil salesmen.

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“It’s important that we send a stronger deterrent message. If people are putting patients at risk and creating patient harm, we’re going to take action,” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said…

The co-founder of Cell Surgical Network, the largest group of independent stem cell clinics in the country, called the FDA’s court action “ridiculous.” Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Mark Berman said the treatments the network’s 100 clinics provide should not count as drugs that require FDA regulation because they consist of stem cells derived from fat suctioned out of patients’ own bodies.

Read full, original post: FDA seeks injunction to stop two stem cell companies after patients blinded

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