Bill filed to regulate stem cell therapy in PH

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La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel. Photo from congress.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—A congressman has joined the call to regulate stem cell therapy administered in the country.

La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel has introduced House Bill No. 212, which would put up a “bioethics advisory board” that would establish “ethical standards” governing the practice of stem cell research and therapy.

Under the proposed Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act of 2013, the board “shall be responsible for addressing contentious ethical, scientific and legal issues in stem cell and cell-based or cellular research and therapies.

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

In his proposal, the board will be headed by the health secretary and the National Transplant Ethics Committee, while the Food and Drug Administration director will serve as vice chairman.

A proposed “institutional review committee” will be tasked to approve “stem cell and cell-based or cellular research and therapies” based on existing Department of Health guidelines.

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