Research Seminar 29 April 2020

Unproven and Unethical: The Emergence and Marketing of Autologous Somatic Cellular Treatments

There are for-profit private clinics proffering untested stem cell treatments all over the world including Australia. There have been reports of baseless claims of cures and adverse events including deaths. Previously, these stem cell treatments are available primarily in developing countries with less regulation or weak enforcement. However, Australia too has stem cell businesses since 2011, and it is growing to more than 60. This nation has among the world's highest concentration of stem cell clinics, with websites advertising medical procedures and anti-ageing therapies. Mrs Sheila Drysdale died as a consequence of procedures from liposuction used to extract stem cells to treat her dementia condition. Australia’s national drugs regulator is the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It is responsible for regulating the safety and efficacy of medicines, medical devices and the manufacturing and advertising of therapeutic goods in the country. In 2011, TGA introduced an exemption for certain kinds of biologicals including ‘autologous therapies’. To determine a suitable regulatory framework to govern the matter, TGA conducted public consultations with various stakeholders to seek their views. TGA announced that amendments to the law would be implemented. This presentation will explore these latest changes to the law.

About the presenter: Dr Patrick (Chee) Foong is a law lecturer at Western Sydney University, Australia. His research interest lies in the area of bioethics & health law. His PhD thesis critically analyses an effective regulatory framework to govern the controversial human embryonic stem cell research. He is a member of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL), Stem Cell Society Singapore (SCSS) and International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Wednesday 29 April


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