The Health Minister recently held a press conference to launch a program to strengthen the public biobank network, considering that currently on 20% of donations are completed successfully. An informative pamphlet was also distributed about “The appropriate use of umbilical cord stem cells“.
The StemWay Biotech company, through its Vice-President Dr. Paolo Rubini, in complete agreement with other biobanks in Italy, with great surprise and dismay, stressed that unfortunately, the measure seems to be more against the autologous conservation of stem cells rather than in favor of donation. As for the scientific statements contained in the informative pamphlet distributed by the ministry, Dr. Rubini said that “without getting into the scientific details, which should not be outlined in a mass communication to the public, the scientific world has already expressed itself in the appropriate ways and even the FIOG, the Italian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has supported a biobank in the sector. It seems appropriate for me to highlight that based on internationally accepted scientific evidence, the Ministries of Health in the USA, Great Britain, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Norway, Dubai, India, Singapore, Switzerland, Hungary, and numerous other countries have adopted decisions that are completely different from those of the Italian Health Ministry, allowing private biobanks to operate and for the autologous conservation of stem cells.”
As for the possibility of gaining access to your own umbilical cord stem cells once you have decided to donate them as reported in the minister’s pamphlet, Dr. Rubini pointed out that: “if it is true that only about 20% of donations are successfully completed, it is evident that the 97% indicated by the Health Ministry can only be relative to these samples, and that the correct information to spread would be 97% of the 20% of the donors will have the possibility of accessing their own umbilical cord stem cells, and therefore in not more than 19.4% of the cases.” Finally, StemWay Biotech must emphasize that if the public biobank network is made up of about 100 facilities in the entire world, the choice to have 18 of them in Italy seems to be an anomaly in the use of public resources in the health sector, where it certainly cannot be said that it is a priority. “In this scenario,” said Dr. Rubini, “each citizen can easily make their own decisions regarding conservation and donation of umbilical cord stem cells and operate in the best way possible so this important biological asset is not lost in 95% of all births.”