SAN DIEGO, April 5, 2016 — When U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., introduced S.2689 on March 16, 2016, it was subsequently referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Known as the REGROW Act (Reliable and Effective Growth for Regenerative Health Options that Improve Wellness), this groundbreaking bill promises to expedite and reduce barriers to badly needed clinical trials and to create pathways for purposes of investment and development.
In a conversation with a spokesperson from Kirk’s office, it became clear that the senator is known for his philosophy of “never giving up,” which might help to explain both his amazing recovery and his passion for the REGROW Act.
As a stroke survivor who underwent an intensive year-long rehabilitation, including 10 months relearning how to walk, Kirk explains, “As a stroke survivor, I know how much potential new regenerative therapies have for thousands of other stroke survivors nationwide.”
If the REGROW Act is passed, it will speed up the process of developing clinically approved, safe and effective cellular or tissue therapies.
The Approval for Cellular Therapies Section (351B) in the text of the bill is described as “Such cells or tissues (which) are adult human cells or tissues…and are evaluated for immunogenicity to ensure unintended immune response in the recipient.”
Further, upon testing and production, they are exclusively used for a purpose which “performs, or helps achieve or restore, the same, or similar, function in the recipient as in the donor.”
The REGROW Act brings the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine to the fore.
According to regenerativemedicine.net, there are four major areas of study in regenerative medicine:
- Medical devices and artificial organs
- Tissue engineering and biomaterials
- Cellular therapies
- Clinical translation
The potential treatments and advances in health care afforded by the REGROW Act, which will improve the quality of life for millions of Americans, reduce the ever-increasing costs of health care, relieve human suffering and enable survivors of a variety of diseases to return to a normal life, are both staggering and unprecedented.
In another conversation with a spokesperson from Kirk’s office, it was indicated that the senator is extremely determined to help more Americans get back to work following recovery from a disease process.
“By expanding options for those living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and stroke, we can help more patients live the life they want on their own terms,” Kirk explained.
Since there are upwards of 5 million Americans stricken with Alzheimer’s, 795,000 who will suffer from a stroke each year, 29.1 million living with diabetes and millions more who are undiagnosed, the REGROW Act is a bill whose time has come.
Kirk and his bipartisan cosponsors Sen. Joe Manchin, III, D-W.V., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME., are to be commended for their groundbreaking efforts, which place the well-being of millions of Americans of all ages above the preferences of any particular political party affiliation.
The REGROW Act provides hope for Americans of all ages who suffer from a variety of diseases and illnesses; and provides a positive vision for the potential of wellness for many generations of Americans to come.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 32 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized educator and expert in home and community-based, long-term care services.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the president and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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