Austin – The Senate Health & Human Services Committee chaired by Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) today voted unanimously 9-0 to approve House Bill 810, authored by Representative Tan Parker and sponsored by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). The legislation grants patients with terminal illnesses or severe chronic diseases access to adult stem cell treatments that often are their last hope of significantly improving their physical well-being or even saving their own lives.
“House Bill 810 is about giving chronically and terminally ill patients a better chance for potential treatment,” Senator Bettencourt said. “The stem cell is an amazing creation, the one cell in your body that has the ability to regenerate, repair, and adapt. Thanks to the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services for unanimously deciding to let adult stem cell therapies go to work in Texas!” he added.
Representative Tan Parker filed the adult stem cell bill 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. “Representative Parker’s bill passed unanimously late in the session, and for a complex subject, it was great to see it pass committee on one of the last possible days,” Senator Bettencourt said. HB 810 is very similar to House Bill 21 from the 84th Legislative Session. Senator Bettencourt sponsored the Andrea Sloan “Right to Try” legislation, which authorized Phase I FDA approved drugs for terminally ill patients.
During HB 810’s committee hearing, members heard from patients Tracey, who has battled multiple sclerosis for 18 years, and Jennifer, who has battled it for 13 years. Tracey said, “If it wasn’t for adult stem cell treatments, I wouldn’t be here today.” Jennifer echoed her support of the legislation, stating, “The science is there. Our cells are proven safe and effective.” They were both present for the 9-0 vote.
Senator Bettencourt took their hands during his closing comments, stating, “The stem cells in these arms and these bodies are what is helping these ladies overcome MS. Something good is happening here. Let’s get government out of the way to make sure we continue to help them and others.”