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aug08.2013Creation of agency to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell practice sought

aug08.2013Creation of agency to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell practice sought

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Creation of agency to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell practice sought
Creation of agency to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell practice sought

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Published by: pribhor2 on Aug 08, 2013
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08/08/2013

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AUG.

8, 2013

NR # 3189

Creation of agency to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell practice sought
A bill establishing a government agency tasked to handle the accreditation and licensing of stem cell therapy practitioners has been filed at the House of Representatives. Rep. Eufranio Eriguel (2nd District, La Union), author of House Bill 212, said with the proper government intervention, stem cell practice might be enhanced and made accessible to the public while also regulating the people and institutions involved in its practice. Eriguel said the bill seeks to intensify stem cell research and therapy in the country by conducting research and studies under established standards of open scientific exchange, peer review, and public oversight. Eriguel said the past decade has seen stem cell science reach new heights and has been allegedly proven effective in treating diseases such as strokes, autism, Parkinson’s diseases, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and a host of other ailments. “Stem cell science has been in existence for almost half a century and is already the standard of care in certain procedures such as bone marrow transplants. Diseases once considered as incurable are responding well to stem cell treatment and are restoring hope to patients who thought they had lost their lives forever,” Eriguel said. Eriguel said there should be more intensive research, including clinical trials, to further discover its uses and to develop novel techniques and more promising procedures. “There is much to be learned from stem cell therapy, its benefits and application in the cure of some of the most devastating diseases and conditions. As of now, the full promise of stem cell treatment remains unknown,” Eriguel said. Eriguel said the benefits of stem cell treatment are a major breakthrough in the field of biotechnology, “but the cost far outweighs its benefits because it is very expensive and only a few physicians are trained to do stem cell procedures here in the Philippines.” The proposed Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act of 2013 shall establish Bioethics Advisory Board (BAB), which will formulate the ethical standards that will guide the Institutional Review Committee (IRC). The Board shall be chaired by the Secretary of Health and the National Transplant Ethics Committee (NTEC) and vice chaired by the Director of Philippine Food and Drug Authority (FDA). The Board shall be responsible for addressing contentious ethical, scientific and legal issues in stem cell and cell-based or cellular research and therapies. Under the bill, stem cell and cell-based or cellular research and therapies shall undergo IRC approval in accordance with the current guidelines set by DOH in the manual of Standard Operating Procedures for Hospital Ethics Review Committees. (30) jc

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