Current European regulations hinder the compilation of the evidence that would be required to bring safe and effective autologous stem cell–based interventions (SCBIs) into standard clinical care. European agencies have expanded their regulations to cover all new SCBIs and research. They establish demanding conditions for cell retrieval, processing, and application. Drawing on empirical sociological findings from the implementation of the first phase III stem cell clinical trial in Europe, this article examines ethical problems effected by that policy, such as that the costs of bringing treatments to market means new autologous SCBIs may remain untested and that this plays in favor of the growing direct-to-consumer market, and that the research pathways in regenerative medicine and the role of clinician-scientists in developing new treatments are restricted, because the regulations are biased to enable specific SCBIs that are of interest to industry. This situation contradicts the moral and social concerns in favor of new treatments and patient interests, which the regulations supposedly safeguard. To align the aims and effects of policy better, European regulatory authorities should reconfigure their regulations to advance a fair and effective governance regime that allows pursuit of all promising SCBIs.


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pp. 42-58
Launched on MUSE
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