What does it mean?
The Texas Medical Board has approved new rules regulating adult stem cell therapies similar to the ones used to treat Governor Rick Perry last summer.
State Representative John Smithee of Amarillo says it will pave the way for new studies to take place in Texas.
"Those stem cells have been very useful and hold a lot of promise in the treatment of a number of diseases where some rejuvenation is required," said Smithee.
Texas Medical Board President Dr. Irwin Zeitler told Todd Ackerman of the Houston Chronicle. “The wheels of federal government move so slowly – we’re not willing to wait to protect our patients.” and in a letter to The Medical Board, Perry wrote that he hopes Texas will "become the world's leader in the research and use of adult stem cells."
How will the regulations work?
The regulations require those who wish to provide stem cells to patients to get approval either from the FDA, which considers most stem cell treatments to come under its jurisdiction and requires that they be clinically verified, or an institutional review board (IRB). This latter hurdle is likely to be lower.
The rules were approved by a 10-4 vote, and members of the board have promised that they will consider revising and improving the policy as early as June, when they meet again.
Mario Salinas, the director of Texans for Stem Cell Research, said that the rules would protect patients and help eliminate treatments without some kind of oversight.