Speaker pro Tem Mullin Introduces AB 617

For immediate release:

 Bill creates Stem Cell Clinic Advisory Group

Sacramento - California is a longtime leader in biotechnology and stem cell research.  Prop 71, approved by voters in 2004, created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and authorized $3 billion in funding for stem cell research. As a result, significant advancements in stem cell research and treatments have been realized. Unfortunately, not all stem cell clinics are adhering to the expected high standards of review within the industry and, as a result, patients have been subjected to unscrupulous, sometimes harmful practices. AB 617 will address those entities by creating a Stem Cell Clinic Regulation Advisory Group.

“California has been a leader in the research and development of stem cell therapies,” said Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin. “As a result of California’s leadership, doctors have used stem cells to treat patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and immune system and other conditions.”

The motivation behind AB 617 is the growing number of for-profit stem cell clinics that have bypassed the FDA’s approval process and are offering unproven treatments to patients which sometimes lead to harmful results and patients’ spending money they cannot recover.

“As the Chair of the Select Committee on Biotechnology, I have heard from patients who have experienced both sides of the treatment continuum,” Speaker pro Tem Mullin stated. “It is clear that more must be done to ensure the proper regulation of for-profit stem cell clinics.”

AB 617 will task the Department of Public Health with convening a Stem Cell Clinic Regulation Advisory Group. This group will review the adequacy of existing license and certification laws and then make recommendations to the Legislature. This Advisory Group would also be able to adopt emergency regulations to protect the public against stem cell therapies that are not in compliance with federal laws and regulations. The ultimate goal is to ensure consumer protections for patients.