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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Patients Fight For Right To Their Own Stem Cells

MARCH 15, 2016


What do you do when you have a chronic disease that has no known cure, and eventually, your doctor tells you there is nothing left to treat you with. Many Americans find themselves exactly in this position. You either put your affairs in order or you start looking for an alternative. Social media has been a lifeline for people with incurable diseases who have run out of medical options in the U.S. and are forced to turn to medical tourism. Since 2007, sites like Stem Cell Pioneers have provided patients a place to share information on treatment results and reliable clinics, as well as warnings about questionable operations.

In 2012, the FDA ruled that our own stem cells are considered a drug once they're expanded in the lab to a therapeutic dose. This cut many of us off in the middle of treatment in Houston, Texas. To better understand why and when the FDA took control over the cells in your body, visit Patients For Stem Cells (PFSC) at www.patientsforstemcells.org or watch this short video they created.

Patients For Stem Cells came together as a spontaneous collective effort by patients who saw this FDA ruling of cells equating to drugs as a regulatory overreach. Once our own lives were saved or improved, we could not in good conscience resume daily living knowing our friends were still suffering with diseases that could benefit from cellular therapy. Our first blog posts challenged the reporters that repeated the story that all stem cell therapy is “snake oil.” We showed the media that the experts they relied upon had conflicts of interest in cellular therapies, for which they held patents, and hoped for royalty incomes from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Your own adult stem cells cannot be patented or sold commercially. By speaking up, we were contacted by reporters of Business Week, NPR and other publications.

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