Texas Medical Board approves new stem cell therapy rules

The Texas Medical Board approved new stem cell therapy rules:

The Texas Medical Board on Friday approved controversial new rules on the use of adult stem cells, raising concerns that Texans could receive therapies that have not yet been proven to work and that could be unsafe. The new rules allow doctors to perform stem cell procedures as long as they are done for research and receive approval from an institutional review board, which can be private and profit-making. The rules also require that patients sign informed consent forms.

Governor Rick Perry, who used stem cell therapy for back pain, helped forward the regulation. The new rules do contain some safeguards, but are controversial:

The rules require patients to give their consent and a review board must approve the procedure before using adult stem cells. Supporters say establishing formal rules will lead to more medical innovation. Critics warned that the rules don’t provide enough protection for patients and could lead to an explosion of doctors promoting unproven, expensive treatments.

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