Stem Cell Research

The FDA closes a huge loophole used by bogus stem-cell clinics, but delays serious enforcement for 3 years

The FDA closes a huge loophole used by bogus stem-cell clinics, but delays serious enforcement for 3 years

There was good news and bad news in the regulatory initiative the Food and Drug Administration rolled out on Thursday, aimed partially at clinics marketing unproven stem-cell therapies directly to consumers.

The good news is that the FDA firmly closed a loophole exploited by many of these proliferating clinics. Those that say they’re using liposuctioned fat to produce stem cells that they reinject in a patient to treat a host of medical conditions, the FDA says, are selling a drug. That means they need to be specially licensed and subjected to inspection.

Here’s the bad news: The agency is giving the clinics up to 36 months to comply with the regulations. That’s far too...

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