Stem Cell Clinics Could Face Crack Down – WFSU

Stem cell research has shown both promise and peril. The technology is advancing faster than the government’s ability to regulate it. That’s led to problems, such as a 2017 case where three women went blind after receiving stem cell injections to cure a degenerative eye disease. Since then, the federal government has taken measures to regulate stem cell clinics. Florida has been trying to follow suit. 

Stem Cell Basics

These cells can renew themselves for long periods and turn into other types of cells. That could be a fat cell, bone cell, and more. Researchers say that ability could help the body heal itself. However, there are two different types of stem cells: embryonic and adult. Each has pros and cons, but adult stem cells are the most commonly used in clinical trials.

How Stem Cell Clinics and Therapies Are Regulated 

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clarified some of its regulations on stem cell practices in 2017. It gave clinics a three-year grace period to comply with federal rules, which ends this November. Florida currently does not regulate stem cell clinics.

Proposed Changes

Sen. Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast) wants to create state rules for clinics that offer stem-cell products and treatments. “There’s kind of a black market going on out there because there’s no real patient safety and protection,” Hutson says.

His proposal would require such clinics to be licensed by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). This agency