Austin – Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 810 by Chair Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and sponsored in the Senate by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). HB 810 allows patients with terminal illnesses or severe chronic diseases to access adult stem cell treatments that often are their last hope of significantly improving their physical well-being or even saving their own lives. The bill was passed unanimously in both the Texas House and the Texas Senate during the now complete 85th Legislative Session.
“It is easy to fall into the trap of viewing legislation as just words on a piece of paper,” said Senator Bettencourt. “But for the many people who are ill with multiple sclerosis and other diseases that stem cell therapy has the hope of solving in our lifetime, I look at this bill, I look at the possibility of what can happen in the 21st Century, with Texas taking the lead on adult stem cell treatments and this bill has the potential to extend lives and make a difference for these patients.”
Representative Parker filed HB 810 in the Texas House to authorize doctors to prescribe adult stem cell treatment to patients suffering from the debilitating effects of severe chronic illness or terminal disease. HB 810 continues the work from last Session with the passage of the Andrea Sloan ‘Right to Try’ legislation sponsored by Senator Bettencourt, which authorized terminally ill patients faster access to safe but experimental drugs to save or prolong their lives.
“Everyone has a zest for life. This adult stem cell treatment possibility gets government out of the way to let these new therapies flourish and give these patients hope for a future good quality of life,” Senator Bettencourt added.
During HB 810’s committee hearing, members heard from patients Tracy, who has battled multiple sclerosis for 18 years, and Jennifer, who has battled it for 13 years. Senator Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio), Representative Springer and the author of the bill Chair Tan Parker all have shared stories of their spouses’ fights against chronic illness and the hope, like so many Texans that adult stem cell therapies could extend, improve and save lives.
“Thanks to Chair Parker, Representative Drew Springer, the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services and the entire Texas House and the Texas Senate for unanimously deciding to let adult stem cell therapies go to work in Texas!” Senator Bettencourt concluded.
The Texas Medical Board, pending the outcome of the July 18th special legislative session, will be responsible for writing the rules about adult stem treatments in Texas. The legislation takes effect September 1, 2017.