Currently, there are around 570 clinics throughout the United States which promise patients they can reduce pain, improve healing, and high all sorts of serious medical conditions including serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy. These clinics tell consumers they can fix their serious health issues through the use of stem cell therapy. According to Scientific American, around 351 U.S. companies are marketing these stem cell clinics directly to consumers. The problem is, their marketing materials may be dishonest, and the clinics themselves often cannot actually live up to the hype. In a worst-case scenario, the clinics actually cause harm instead of helping.
How can this happen? The issue is the stem cell clinics currently fall into a regulatory grey area and the federal government needs to do more to ensure these clinics are safe. The Food and Drug Administration has already issued draft guidance aimed at improving regulatory efforts, and there has been extensive demand by interested parties to provide comments on the FDA’s proposal. It is not yet clear, though, if the FDA will actually be able to move forward with the new rules which would make reigning in stem cell clinics possible by giving the FDA authority to regulate them in a similar way to the FDA’s regulation of biological drugs.
Regardless of what the FDA does or doesn’t do, anyone who receives treatment at a stem cell clinic should know his or her rights in case a problem occurs. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can provide assistance in pursuing a case to get compensation if something goes wrong and a stem cell therapy clinic causes harm.
Atlanta Stem Cell Clinics are Endangering Patients Due to Inadequate Regulations
The Washington Post recently reported on a tragic story in which patients who visited a stem cell clinic for treatment ended up suffering serious and irrevocable harm. The patients were suffering from muscular degeneration, which had caused them to experience some vision issues. They could still see and the vision impairment was relatively minor, but the clinic had promised the stem cell therapy treatments could help improve eyesight.
Instead, the treatment performed by the clinic left three patients legally blind. There were a few reasons this could have happened. One possibility is the stem cells used in the procedure ended up transforming into cells causing scarring. Another possibility is the stem cells were contaminated somehow before being used on the patients.
Whatever the cause, the patients will never be able to get back their eyesight. The case is a tragic one, in no small part because these patients likely did not realize the risk they were taking on. The clinic had a listing on Clinical Trials.gov, which is a website with a comprehensive listing of clinical trials. The National Institutes of Health operates the website, and the fact the stem cell clinic was listed on it could have made it seem as if the clinic trial at the stem cell clinic was officially a government-sanctioned clinic trial even though it wasn’t.
The patients may have assumed the clinic was safe on the basis of its inclusion on this sight and they paid dearly because it turned out not to be. These patients deserve to be compensated for both economic and non-financial loss caused by the problematic medical procedure they underwent without knowing the true risks.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent patients or their families after a medical mistake. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.