Probe sought into status of stem cell therapy in the Philippines-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
WITH the popularity of stem cell therapy among celebrities and high-profile Filipinos, a lawmaker called on the House of the Representatives to check if there are scientific data to prove that such procedure can treat diseases.
In filing House Resolution 2642, Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo wanted to find out the ethical issues raised against this regenerative medicine and possible regulation of stem cell procedures and clinical applications.
Stem cell treatment is a type of intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury.
Among those who have availed themselves of the therapy commonly done in Europe are former President Joseph Estrada, former Senate President Ernesto Maceda and entertainment host Lolit Solis.
The lawmaker took exception the apparently unregulated environment by which these "stem cells" are sourced or shipped and the procedures or clinical applications by which said "master cells" are being injected which costs from P800,000 to P1 million.
While reputable hospitals The Medical City and state-run National Kidney & Transplant Institute are already into stem cell therapy, Castelo said other hospitals or medical clinics may not have been authorized by the Department of Health (DOH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do so.
He also asked if these hospitals or medical clinics can manage the proper collection, banking, custody, transit, handling, processing, and administration and generation of these stem cells or master cells consistent with a plan of care suited for a patient and his or her medical circumstances.
Castelo suggested the conduct of an evaluative study by the DOH and come up with a scheme of accreditation on hospitals or medical clinics in terms of their facilities, laboratories, equipment, and their consultants into stem cell therapy, among others. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)