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Stem Cells

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 19 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to prevent the marketing and selling of unlicensed stem cell therapies to people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions; and if he will make a statement. (275917)

Within the United Kingdom, any use of an unlicensed stem cell medicinal product requires the approval of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Organisations involved in collection, processing and storage of stem cells must also have a license from the Human Tissue Authority.

The Department is aware of a growing number of unlicensed and unproven stem cell products that are being marketed from overseas. Regrettably, such marketing falls outside the jurisdiction of the UK. The Department, NHS Choices and the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee have issued warnings and provided advice on their respective websites for anyone who may be considering such ‘treatments'.