How stem cell training for doctors may be more important than ever
The legal battle to get patients access to stem cell therapy in Texas is a battle the state has been following for more than a year.†Gov. Greg Abbott has now signed stem cell therapy bill HB 810 into law. Access to the treatment won't be immediate, but it is finally closer to reality.
It has been 13 years since Dr. Richard Neel was diagnosed with Meniere's disease, a chronic inner ear disorder.†Traditional medicines weren't working so he took advice from his patient, who'd been getting stem cell therapy for arthritis.
As the law is now, banking stem cells in the U.S. is legal, but after 24 hours it is illegal to put the stem cells back into the body. The new law would allow patients to have the treatment in Texas, as opposed to traveling to other countries to use their own cells as medicine.
"Went down and had my stem cells extracted and banked," Neel said. "Went to Cancun four times."
Neel started feeling positive effects within a week of each treatment.†
"Now, over a year after the stem cell treatments, I have not had another episode of vertigo," he said. "The hearing loss hasn't been reversed, but it hasn't progressed either."
It was this success that had Neel following the stem cell therapy bill's progression through the Texas Legislature and hoping for it to pass.†
State Sen. Jose Menendez supported the bill for people such as Dr. Neel, and for his own wife, who has multiple sclerosis.†
He emphasized doctors would be at the forefront of this therapy as it is used in Texas.
Dr. Neel agrees, but realizes the process will take time.
Patients will still have to leave the U.S. for therapy, while Texas creates new guidelines, but care closer to home is officially on its way.†
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Medical Board will work together to create those guidelines. Rules will mandate that doctors perform the therapy in an ambulatory center, a hospital or a medical school.†
Patients also must have a chronic disease or a terminal illness, for which a doctor has exhausted all other options.†
Any and all other rules and regulations are still to be announced.
Needless to say, stem cell training for doctors in Texas and across the country should be utilized. Choosing to continue medical education conferences with Biolife will give these professions a science conference needed to help people in these exciting times of medical discoveries.
Charlie’s law is a right-to-try law in Texas, allowing patients with chronic and terminal illnesses access to experimental stem cell treatment, such as stem cell therapy and other regenerative medicine solutions. The panel will discuss the scope and impact of Charlie’s Law on research and health care, and how best to protect patients moving forward.
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