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
    Pages (from-to)1029-1036
    Number of pages8
    JournalRegenerative Medicine
    Volume16
    Issue number12
    Early online date11 Nov 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

    Keywords

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

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