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TX: 26.01.07 - Stem Cell Update 2

PRESENTER: WINIFRED ROBINSON
THE ATTACHED TRANSCRIPT WAS TYPED FROM A RECORDING AND NOT COPIED FROM AN ORIGINAL SCRIPT. BECAUSE OF THE RISK OF MISHEARING AND THE DIFFICULTY IN SOME CASES OF IDENTIFYING INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS, THE BBC CANNOT VOUCH FOR ITS COMPLETE ACCURACY.


ROBINSON
Time now to update some of the stories we’ve been reporting on recently. You and Yours has been following the issue of commercial stem cell therapy – dozens of British people have been travelling to Holland for the treatment which costs anything up to 15,000 pounds per session. Last October we reported how a Dr Robert Trossel and his team were banned from doing the treatments at his PMC Clinic in Rotterdam. Around 150 British people have travelled there. Last week we reported that Holland is banning ALL commercial stem cell treatments from 1 February 2007. Our disability reporter Carolyn Atkinson is here… what’s new?

ATKINSON
Well the General Medical Council - the GMC which regulates doctors in the UK - has confirmed that it’s formally investigating Dr Robert Trossel. As part of that procedure, they can hold what’s called an interim hearing – they held one yesterday and have put 8 restrictions on him while they carry on their investigation. The one restriction that potentially affects British patients considering having stem cell treatment is one that says he cannot carry out, manage, promote or supervise any medical treatment involving stem cells unless it’s an authorised trial. So, the GMC say he will have to stop seeing patients at his surgeries in London. Also, he must tell the GMC if he’s doing any work outside the UK. For example, his clinic in Rotterdam told us it’s referring patients to Belgium. If Dr Trossel is involved in that he will need to tell the GMC.

The GMC emphasise that these are interim restrictions – they're in place for 18 months and will be reviewed after 6 months. The next step is - either the GMC will decide there is nothing more to do and no public hearing is necessary or they will decide there is a case to answer and a public hearing will take place. Dr Trossel though is still registered with the GMC to practice as a GP in the UK.


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