A New Japanese Stem Cell Treatment Raises Hopes–And Ethical Questions

August 27, 2019

(Undark) – The Japanese health ministry approved Stemirac last December, and the treatment is now available to the Japanese public, with most of the $140,000 cost covered by the country’s universal National Health Insurance. It’s arguably the world’s most ambitious approved stem cell treatment and should have been a cause for celebration: a long-awaited breakthrough for the field of regenerative medicine — using modern biological tools to repair the body — and a harbinger of more impressive medicines.  Instead, the therapy has been met with a heated debate. On one side, many experts have slammed Stemirac’s approval in uncommonly direct terms, saying there isn’t enough evidence to show it is effective or even safe.