Saturday, September 07, 2019

California Regulators Fleshing Out Details of Hearing on Regulation of Rogue Stem Cell Clinics

California state regulators have posted the line-up for a meeting later this month to deal with rogue stem cell clinics that peddle "snake oil" treatments that have led to injury and financial loss.

The meeting comes as Google announced this week that it is cracking down on advertising involving the dubious clinics. Also this week, the president of the largest group of stem cell researchers in the the world warned of the dangers of unproven treatments. 

Deepak Srivastava, president of the Goldstone Institutes in San Francisco and leader of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said the promises of the largely unregulated clinics "aren’t true--they’re propagated by people wanting to make money off of a desperate and unsuspecting or unknowing public."

The state Medical Board scheduled its meeting for Sept. 18 in Sacramento as a precursor to possible regulation of the activities of medical professionals at the clinic.

Scheduled to testify are Maria Millan, president of the $3 billion state stem cell agency, formally known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and Mehrdad Abedi of UC Davis, a physician, cancer specialist and stem cell researcher. 

Abedi is a key figure in UC Davis' Alpha Clinic, which is designed to coordinate and sharpen the focus of clinical stem cell research and treatment. 

Also scheduled to appear are representatives of the State Department of Public Health. The meeting is scheduled to be available via the Internet. The public can attend and comment at the session. 

The medical board said earlier that another session may be scheduled later this fall. Recommendations for regulations could come to the full medical board in January. See here for more details on the board's plans.

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