SANTIAGO, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chile's health minister, Carmen Castillo, announced Tuesday that the government is preparing a law to regulate the storage of stem cells.
This matter has become a hot topic in the country after one private clinic storing stem cells in Santiago went bankrupt, exposing a stark lack of legislation for the industry.
In a statement, Castillo said that the health ministry and the Institute of Public Health are working on regulation to govern how such stem cell banks operate.
Castillo explained that while this stem cell bank had sanitary approval, it was "not regulated," adding that the topic of stem cells required more supervision.
It is estimated that nine stem cell banks in the country have served at least 45,000 clients but doctors have warned that the lack of legislation is allowing the proliferation of sham treatments.
A few months ago, the director of cellular therapy at the Las Condes Clinic, Rodrigo Mardones, said the treatments offered by these banks are not proven and unpublished in scientific journals, meaning that "it is unknown what could happen."
However, the head of Chile's National Medicine Agency, Pamela Milla, has commented that stem cell therapies are new around the world, and that "the norms are still being built."