Doctors from Colorado have bypassed federal FDA regulations in administering stem cell therapy. The procedure involves no surgery, only extracting stem cells from a patient’s body, growing them in a culture, and reinserting them into the damaged area; and it has worked remarkably well. While experiments show stem cells heal dogs and horses in miraculous ways, it is a long road to FDA approval, and these doctors couldn’t wait any longer. Because their practice is restricted to operations solely within a single state, they claim exemption from federal FDA regulations. While many laud this as being just what the doctor ordered, and find FDA approval is too slow, let’s not forget the Wild West days are over: the government needs to approve new therapies. While bureaucracies are slow-moving, in this situation they’re better than total deregulation. (Imagine it: “Oh sorry, these pills don’t alleviate head-aches like we thought, they actually kill you.”) These doctors are not only defying the FDA by claiming these procedures are safe, they’re doing it without any peer-review. Although stem cell therapy may be the miracle cure of the future, and the FDA may be unnecessarily slow, trusting therapies which haven’t been approved by the FDA, or anybody besides the administering doctors, is a bad idea.
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