Stem cell clinics in the UK: a web-based study

Sami Kamel, Kevin R Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Explore the nature and extent of web-based promotion of stem cell treatments marketed by clinics in the UK. Materials & methods: Web-based analysis of clinics in the UK using predefined variables, with analysis of eligible clinics according to preset criteria of ethical relevance. Results: A majority (79%) of UK clinics were judged to be problematic. Information was found to be lacking, misleading or otherwise problematic in several respects, including a lack of information on risks of adverse effects, unjustifiably optimistic depictions of therapeutic effectiveness, and questionable presentational approaches such as the use of celebrity patient testimonials. Conclusion: In a majority of cases, commercial clinics in the UK portray stem cell therapies on their websites in ethically questionable ways.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalRegenerative Medicine
Early online date11 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Direct-to-consumer
  • Ethics
  • Informed consent
  • Legislation
  • Marketing
  • Policy
  • Stem cells

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