US stem cell clinics boomed while FDA paused crackdown

Health

David Stringham holds prescription bottles at his home Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Provo, Utah. Stringham says undergoing a procedure for shoulder and elbow pain at a local clinic in 2018 was “the worst decision of my life” and left him in more pain. Since then, a neurologist has told Stringham he probably suffered nerve damage at the places where he was injected. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. clinics pushing unproven stem cell procedures has ballooned in recent years.

The Food and Drug Administration gave clinics three years to show that their questionable treatments were safe and worked.

But today none of the clinics have won FDA approval and there are more businesses than before selling the treatments for arthritis, Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 and other conditions.

Experts who track the industry estimate there are well over 1,000 clinics.

Research suggests stem cells could someday have broad use for a number of medical conditions.

But experts say they should not be used outside of rigorous studies or a handful of established uses.

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