Stem cell therapy to be regulated in PH

Posted at 11/07/12 6:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Health (DOH) has announced its plan to regulate stem cell therapy in the country.

Stem cell treatment involves the use of adult stem cells to treat a range of diseases.

The Health Department believes that because of the complex preparation and invasive procedure involved, there needs to be a regulatory framework to protect Filipino citizens.

The regulation of laboratories and practitioners involves five key points.

First is a check on the credentials of people involved in the service, as stem cell treatment is a specialized field. The supply of raw materials will also have to be monitored, making sure especially that they do not come from aborted fetuses.

Laboratories will be scrutinized for their procedures, sanitation and safety. Therapeutic claims, on the other hand, are also up for strict assessment, to make sure that these are based on solid scientific evidence.

Finally, the DOH also wants a report on the possible failure of treatments, to find out if there are negative outcomes to stem cell therapy.

"Those who are going to other countries for stem cell treatment should also check if their destination allows stem cell tourism," clarified FDA Acting Director Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go.

The DOH said consultations with stakeholders are still ongoing, but it expects a set of guidelines to be released by next month.