Democratic State Senator Ginny Lyons says that she plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming year in order to address how stem cell clinics in the state of Vermont inform potential patients of the risks involved in undergoing unproven treatments. Sen. Lyons is doing this at the behest of The Vermont Medical Society who adopted a resolution last month that stated that the stem cell clinics in the state, “engage in aggressive and false marketing to the public.” The marketing practices under fire all pertain to unproven stem cell treatments that claim to be able to help individuals with everything from cosmetic issues to chronic pain, and while some show great potential and promise, those familiar with these treatment state that there is just not enough evidence to prove these claims.
The introduction of this legislation is in line with warnings that the FDA has been issuing over the past few years when it comes to unproven stem cell treatments, their dangers and benefits. The FDA has gotten more aggressive in their oversight into these clinics over the past few years and they suggest that potential patients only participate in treatments that have already been approved or have an Investigational New Drug Application.
The FDA does acknowledge that there are tremendous benefits to stem cell therapies, but since there is still so much unknown about these unproven treatments, they feel that more testing and studies are needed before the public is ready to undergo such treatments. We have already seen cases where individuals have been injured and, in some cases, blinded due to having unproven stem cell therapies and Sen. Lyons, The Vermont Medical Society, and the FDA do not want to see more cases like this.
How Are Unproven Stem Cell Treatments Legal?
The reason that many of these clinics are able to operate and offer unproven tests is because they are actually taking stem cells from the individual and then reinjecting them, and due to a loophole in FDA regulations this is allowed under the law. However, even though there is some promise in many of the treatments that are offered, since they are still unproven it is unclear how effective they are, or if they are effective at all.
Many times, families who have exhausted all possible medical avenues when it comes to curing an illness or injury will turn to these stem cell clinics under the auspicious that they will receive some type of miracle cure. This unfortunately opens up the public to receiving treatment that is not effective at all and in some cases is actually fraudulent. The latter has been a cause for concern among many individuals in the medical field for quite some time now.
However, Sen. Lyons does not actually want the legislator to look into whether these stem cell clinics are accurate in their assertion that these treatments work, but rather she wants the Senate to look into and regulate the dissemination of information to potential patients. She wants to ensure that individuals who are signing up for these unproven treatments are given all of the facts and that they are not being sold a bill of goods that is misleading or missing information.
Vermont Stem Cell Clinic Responds
Two Stem Cell Clinics that are potentially going to be affected by this legislation are Vitaly Healthcare and Regenexx. Regenexx is a Colorado based stem cell company with 60 clinics worldwide. While Vitaly Healthcare is yet to respond to the potential legislation or to the accusation leveled against them by Dr. Daniel Weiss, a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont and Chief Science Officer at a leading stem cell organization, who commented that these clinics, “are taking advantage of the population,” the owner of Vermont’s Regenexx clinic responded that, “the technology used at Regenexx is safe and that his work has been wrongly grouped with the work of places like Vitality Healthcare, which are carrying out unapproved therapy.”
The introduction of legislation in Vermont would not be the first time that a state legislator took on stem cell clinic’s marketing campaigns, as a number of other states have already developed laws that look to combat clinics from making false claims about their treatments. This coupled with the FDA’s increase in oversight and enforcement over stem cell clinics hopefully means that there will be less unscrupulous clinics popping up and that the hype over stem cell treatment may be curbed to reflect actual progress in the field.
Need More Information on Stem Cell Funding and Research?
Stem cell therapy is an emergent treatment that can provide people with lasting relief from illness and disease. Continued funding of stem cell research ensures that scientists can continue to work towards further breakthroughs. If you are looking to better educate yourself on the benefits of stem cell therapy call Stem Cell Authority toll-free today.