More updates on Cells=Drugs – Regenexx. The journal Translational Medicine just published an editorial entitled: Does the FDA have regulatory authority over adult autologous stem cell therapies? 21 CFR 1271 and the emperor’s new clothes. The full paper is here. Here’s the abstract:
ABSTRACT: FDA has recently asserted that many autologous cell therapies once considered the practice of medicine are in fact drugs. These changes began with the creation of new sections of 21 CFR 1271 and a subsequent one word change where the FDA, without public commentary, altered a single word in its regulatory language regarding cell and tissue based therapies that asserted the authority to classify autologous tissue as drugs. The bright line between medical care and drug production can be delineated in many ways, but a simple metric that defines the dichotomy is the consent status of the patient. In healthcare, a patient can either be consented individually for a medical procedure or exposed to an unconsented risk where regulatory assurances are already in place. These new FDA policies apply rules meant to keep drugs safe in a drug factory (unconsented mass production risks) to individually consented surgical procedures. We argue that there is little societal benefit to these changes and that they are already stifling medical innovation.