#unprovenstemcelltreatments; #LeighTurner; #HealthCanada; #RegenerativeMedicine; #Food and Drug Act
Ottawa, Sep 27 (Canadian-Media): According to a study published yesterday numerous unlicensed clinics in Canada were offering unproven stem cell treatments for a wide variety of medical conditions, media reports said.
Stem cells give rise to many different cell types in the body and offer the potential for treating a wide array of diseases.
But rigorous research is still needed to determine the efficacy of these treatments, said regenerative medicine experts.
Leigh Turner, Canadian-born researcher, and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics was able to identified 30 businesses marketing stem cell therapies at 43 clinics, unapproved by Health Canada -- the federal department of Canada responsible for national public health -- across the country.
Turner's study, published Wednesday in the journal Regenerative Medicine, involved an extensive online search for direct-to-consumer websites offering stem cell therapies to Canadians.
Turner researched 24 Clinics, advocating their treatments over the internet offering stem cell treatments for orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions and sports-related injuries including, 24 in Ontario -- 17 clinics in the Greater Toronto Area (which includes Toronto and nearby cities) alone -- eight in British Columbia, six in Alberta, three in Quebec, one each in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
It was also found out that patients typically paid large amount of money from their own pocket as the services of these clinics are also not covered by provincial health insurance plans.
And in some cases, such unresearched interventions can do harmful, Turner said.
Turner's paper challenged Health Canada to enforce regulations and to crack down on clinics making claims about effectiveness that are not based on scientific evidence.
Health Canada had ordered to stop illegal practices of a few clinics and is following up on other clinics and added any non-compliance to these orders would be strictly dealt with.
Under the Food and Drug Act, all stem cells therapies are considered drugs and must meet specific requirements before they can be marketed in Canada.
Only one advanced stem cell product, Prochymal for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease, has been approved for sale in Canada.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Ottawa, Sept 26, (Canadian-Media): In observance of first Ontario's Rowan's Concussion Law Day today, Ontario is commitment to making sports safer for kids by developing a multimedia campaign that will raise awareness about concussion safety, media reports said.
Rowan's Law Day is commemorated, in honour of the memory of 17-year-old Rowan Stringer, who died after sustaining multiple concussions while playing rugby with her Ottawa high school.
Since then, her family had advocated for change.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, sponsored Rowan's Concussion Law in the Legislative Assembly.
On March 7, 2018, Ontario passed Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and related amendments to the Education Act.
This new legislation, which received all-party support, is intended to protect amateur athletes by improving concussion safety on the field and at school.
This day is observed on the last Wednesday in September to raise awareness about concussions in sport.
"I am pleased that our new government is carrying on with the work that was started in 2015," said MacLeod.
"Rowan was a very positive kid. She wanted to help the kids and her plan was to be a pediatric nurse," her father said Wednesday. "We look at this as helping her deliver on what she would've done in her life, making a difference in people's lives."
Concussions represented 21 percent of student injuries treated by a doctor or nurse, said Sylvia Jones, Ontario's minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and added that this awareness campaign would help students understand what to do when they suspect they've sustained a concussion, and gives educators and coaches the tools they need to seek help for their students.
"We're not talking about discouraging people from playing rugby or from playing on the ice," she said. "What we want to do is make sure that they understand what a concussion looks like."
Rowan's Law created new rules aimed at protecting injured students from further injury, and introduced new protocols that aim to prevent concussions in the first place.
But the work isn't done yet — the regulations that accompany the bill still have to be written, and a system to track concussion data has yet to be established.
Stringer said there have been many tough days after losing Rowan, but he hopes the outcome will help save lives.
"Her death was completely preventable," he said. "That drives you to make sure that you do everything you can so that it doesn't happen again."
"Reducing the risk of concussions is always the goal. But concussions happen and knowing what to do - whether you're an athlete, a parent, a coach or a teacher - can save lives," said Sylvia. "We'll honour Rowan Stringer's memory by launching a province-wide multimedia campaign to raise awareness about concussion safety."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#RachelNotley; #Alberta, #Canada; #HIV/AIDS; #SarahHoffman; #PrEP; Calgary'sPrideWeek; #DavieBuyersClub; #Humanimmunodeficiencyvirus; #acquiredimmunedeficiencysyndrome
Alberta, Sep 3 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made Saturday by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley during a Calgary's Pride fundraising event in Calgary that beginning Oct. 1, Alberta will be providing universal coverage for PrEP, an HIV-prevention drug, which is up to 99 percent effective at stopping the transmission of the disease, media reports said.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is spread primarily by unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions, unsterilized needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
The virus weakens the immune system and is not curable, it can only be managed with treatment.
If untreated, the virus can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which severely damages immune system.
According to non-profit organization HIV Community Link, out of about 80,500 Canadians diagnosed with HIV, about one in five people don't know they have been infected.
In Alberta alone last year, more than 200 people were diagnosed.
The generic of the medication is $250 per month — about $8.30 a day — and the brand name, Truvada, can cost up to $1,000 per month.
The high cost of PrEP is a barrier for many people, and Notley said that by making it more accessible to public would reduce the incidence ofs of HIV.
Alberta is the seventh province in Canada to introduce PrEp coverage.
Along with coverage, Notley said with the government's plan to increase the number of physicians, designated to prescribe PrEP, it will be available across the province.
Alex Smith. a Calgary nurse and founder of the Davie Buyers Club, a website and a guide that helps people to access PrEP and shows Canadians how to order a 90-day supply of the medication.
90-day supply of the medication is the maximum legal quantity for personal use that can be imported from India, Thailand and Singapore into Canada.
Further details on how coverage will be rolled out in the coming week will be provided by Sarah Hoffman, Alberta's Health Minister, said Notley,
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)