PRC: Stem cell not for general practitioners

THE Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) stressed Tuesday that the emerging stem cell treatment cannot be practiced just by any kind of medical doctor but only by specialists.

In its position paper on Stem Cell Medicine, the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBOM) pointed that local physicians looking to practice stem cell treatment cannot just perform it sans the necessary education, structured/supervised training and extensive clinical experience.

"Not anyone who can inject a chemotherapeutic drug qualifies to be a medical oncologist," said the PRBOM.

The board said it is unacceptable to claim that stem cell medicine falls already under general practice since anybody can do it "as it only entails the injection of stem cell solution."

The PRBOM said that while injection can be performed by any general medical practitioner, it cannot be the same for the desired result of the treatment such as cancer, autism, diabetes, stroke, liver disease, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, among others.

"Physicians, who claim to be specialists and experts in stem cell therapy, should have had extensive training in the treatment of the mentioned diseases and disorders," said PRBOM.

It added that the training program should include quality assurance mechanisms, such as evaluation during and at the end of rotations, as well as training with documentation of clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of the concerned medical conditions.

Also, the PRBOM said the training should be conducted in accredited institutions, with the presence of faculty members that have been recognized as experts in the field due to their education, extensive training, and clinical experience.

As for foreign doctors looking to practice stem cell in the country, the PRC reminded them to secure the necessary permits first.

"Foreign physicians who wish to practice stem cell therapy in the country are required to apply for and obtain special temporary permits (STP) from the Professional Regulation Commission," said the PRBOM.

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PRC: Stem cell not for general practitioners

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