Tuesday, 17 March 2020 | Nina Klein

How Much Does Stem Cell Therapy Cost?

If you, or perhaps someone close to you, suffers with a challenging illness, you may be exploring viable alternative treatments. You may even have come across stem cell therapy as an avenue to explore.

But where do you start? And could you even afford it?

It’s perfectly okay to be overwhelmed at first, with plenty to consider. First of all, how do you get stem cells? Is there a stem cell market of sorts? And how do you even find a suitable stem cell clinic?

We’re here to answer all of your questions in detail. And more importantly, we’ll give you the reported average fees for stem cell therapy for different parts of the body and various diseases.

Stem Cell Therapy Procedures

At first glance, the costs of stem cell-based therapies may come as a shock. The reason it can be more expensive than other treatments is that there are many procedures involved related to product safety and production in general. Additionally, innovative therapies tend to be more expensive than established therapies.

Here are the basic procedures involved in stem cell-based therapy:

  • Diagnostics: The condition of the patient will be evaluated, including medical history, ongoing treatments, current health status, etc.
  • Specific pre-treatment testing: Patients will be tested to determine if they are eligible for treatment with stem cell therapy.
  • Harvesting stem cells: The stem cells are obtained from the patient (or a donor). This procedure is highly dependent on what type of stem cell will be used and from which tissue source it comes from. In some clinics, they use stem cells from the bone marrow. Others also use adult stem cells gathered from fat cells.
  • Transplantation / application of stem cells: Stem cells or its secretome are applied to the patient.
  • Recovery: Patients who need to stay in the hospital due to their condition will need this time to rest and avoid infection. This is not the case for most stem cell therapies. Most treatments are on an outpatient basis, which means that patients can simply check out of the clinic and return for their next session.
  • Post-treatment monitoring: Patients will be monitored for progress. The patient’s physician can continue to coordinate with the stem cell clinic for updates about the patient’s condition.

Average Costs for Stem Cell Therapy for Different Parts of the Body

Many clinics do not publish rates for their treatments, but journalists have reported on the cost of stem cell-based therapies in countries like the US and Canada. Below we list the standard published rates, according to these reports.

It should be noted that from these costs a patient can not directly derivate how effective or safe a treatment is. But generally speaking, especially when it comes to stem cells and their medical application, the necessary laboratory tests to make a product safe and efficient are usually very costly, and will obviously increase the price.

If a treatment is very inexpensive, patients should consider investigating if the price may come with disadvantages regarding product safety and efficiency.

Please also note that these costs do not represent ANOVA prices. If you are interested in a treatment at ANOVA IRM, please get in touch with us to receive a rate.

Cost of Stem Cell Knee Injections

The average cost of stem cell treatment for knees is around USD 3,000 to USD 5,000 per knee. There may be multiple factors that can contribute to this cost, including the gravity of the knee injury and the country where the clinic is located.

Cost of Stem Cell Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

There are published reports online for stem cell-based treatments for men with erectile dysfunction. They are known to cost from USD 5,000 up to USD 20,000, depending on the particular condition of the patient.

 

Cost of Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain

The cost of a stem cell treatment for back pain, such as a spinal injections or injections for disc regeneration, may range from USD 5,000 to USD 7,000, according to published reports. Of course, finding the right clinic is very important.

More and more people are considering stem cell therapy for back pain since the overall costs for traditional methods can be costlier than the stem cell-based therapy.

 

Cost for Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke

In stem cell clinics in Europe, a patient suffering from the effects of a stroke will have to shell out around USD 25,000 to USD 30,000. In other countries outside the EU, it may cost you USD 7,000 to USD 8,000.

Cost for Stem Cell Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury

Similar to back pain, the spinal cord is also a sensitive area. Stem cell therapy for a spinal cord injury may set you back around USD 7,000.

Cost for Stem Cell Treatment for Arthritis

Patients who have arthritis usually get a stem cell injection for their knees, which costs approximately USD 3,000 to USD 5,000 per knee.

Cost of Stem Cell Therapy for Hips

Patients who have problems with their hips very often suffer with arthritis. The cost of using stem cell therapy to improve the condition of one’s hips start at USD 5,000.

How Much do Stem Cell Injections Cost?

The price range of stem cell injections (also sometimes called "stem cell shots") is a very commonly asked question. Many curious people even ask if they can avail of the injection right away, as if it was a flu shot.

In this section, we will discuss stem cell injections and how getting a proper treatment may not be as easy as injecting a body part with stem cells.

Stem Cell Injections vs. Stem Cell Therapy

Many people interchange the use of stem cell therapy and stem cell injection, but the two are not the same. Stem cell injections are just one part of the whole process of stem cell therapy, which may also include a comprehensive diagnostic of the patient, the harvesting of the stem cells from themselves or a donor, and more.

If some clinics are advertising their stem cell costs without getting to know the condition of the patient, beware. An effective stem cell-based treatment should always consider the patient’s medical history before administering an injection or any other type of treatment.

In the US, stem cell injections can cost from USD 4,000 to USD 8,000. Again, this usually does not include all associated costs that come with a stem cell treatment such as diagnostics and tissue harvesting.

How Long do Stem Cell Injections Last?

When coping with pain and discomfort, it is understandable that patients are keen to know how many sessions of injections they should get to see improvements. It’s also understandable that they want to be prepared for the expenses of needing multiple sessions.

Unfortunately, the answer to this one is more complicated than giving a specific number of sessions. Progress depends on a patient’s health, medical history, and other treatments being undertaken. There are times when a combination of several treatments has helped speed up recovery, but on other occasions it can drag on.

A doctor may give an estimate of how many sessions it may take before one can experience progress, but this can only be advised after a thorough diagnosis of the patient’s condition. Do you want to receive an estimation from us? Please get in touch to schedule a consultation with our doctors.

How Much Does a Stem Cell Transplant Cost?

Aside from stem cell injections, another term that many people ask about is a stem cell transplant. What exactly is the difference between a stem cell transplant, a stem cell injection, and a stem cell therapy?

Stem Cell Therapy vs. Stem Cell Injection vs. Stem Cell Transplant

First, let’s clarify the definition of stem cell therapy. In a nutshell, stem cell therapy involves a series of procedures using stem cells, aimed at improving one’s condition or for treatment of a disease.

Part of the therapy includes the diagnostics, the harvesting of stem cells, the injection, etc. The stem cells in the injection can either come from the patients themselves or from another source. Donors are usually relatives or someone with a compatible blood type.

A stem cell transplant, by definition, involves harvesting the stem cells from a person’s body, to be transplanted to someone else’s body. This is most often because the patients themselves do not have enough healthy stem cells.

This usually happens after chemotherapy or radiotherapy when cancer cells are killed, but unfortunately, during this process, stem cells in the bone marrow are destroyed too.

In some cases, doctors can also collect a patient’s own stem cells before these procedures, providing that a patient’s own stem cells are healthy enough.

Stem cell transplants are often used to treat people with leukemia, myeloma, or lymphoma.

At ANOVA, we do not perform stem cell transplants. We solely use stem cells from the patient’s own tissue. The patient is thus his or her own donor.

Stem Cell Transplant Costs for Cancer Patients

A lot of recipients of stem cell transplants are patients suffering from various types of cancer. Stem cell transplants can cost anywhere from USD 350,000 to USD 800,000. Unfortunately, a lot of insurers consider stem cell transplant as an experimental procedure and may not cover the costs of such treatments. Check if your insurance provider includes stem cell therapy in your plan when you consider this treatment.

How Much Does Stem Cell Exosome Therapy Cost?

Exosomes are one component of the Stem Cell Secretome Therapy. And Stem Cell Secretome is a stem-cell based treatment where only the biologically active compounds are applied to the body. Read more about Stem Cell Secretome here. The cost for Stem Cell Exosome Therapy is therefore the same as any Stem Cell or Stem Cell Secretome therapy; it depends on the country, what it is used for, and how many exosome injections it entails.

Does the FDA Approve Stem Cell Therapy?

Different countries have different regulations on stem cell therapy, which is why some people choose to fly out and get their treatment abroad.

For example, in the USA, the Food and Drug Administration only allows stem cell-based therapies that use bone marrow or cord blood to treat cancers.

What’s important to bear in mind is that you have to make sure that the stem cell clinic you’re considering is doing everything ethically and legally. There have been cases in Canada where stem cell clinics are recklessly advertising treatments without following industry standards. This begs the question — how do you even know if a stem cell clinic is legitimate?

Here are several signs that would indicate that a clinic is operating legally and ethically:

  • They employ doctors and nurses who specialize in stem cell-based treatments.
  • They are very transparent about their procedures which are listed on their website.
  • They follow the laws in the country where they are based.
  • They offer you a full consultation or diagnosis first before starting with any kind of procedure.

Does Health Insurance Cover Stem Cell Therapy?

Many insurance companies treat stem cell therapy as an “experimental procedure” and therefore, is not covered by them.

It’s best to contact the clinic of your choice to find out if your health insurance is considered in their payment scheme.

Why are Stem Cell Therapies Expensive?

As previously mentioned, stem cell-based therapies involve a host of individual procedures that must be carried out by doctors who are experts in this field. Stem cell transplants, for example, cannot be compared to blood transfusion and stem cell injections are not as simple as flu shots.

Another reason they are valued so highly is due to the level of research surrounding stem cells themselves. It is a young field with exciting developments occurring all the time, which clinics, in turn, aim to implement for their patients.

Additionally, in order to make the treatment safe, a lot of laboratory tests are required. These tests are typically very costly. This will increase the overall cost of stem cell therapies.

What Countries use Stem Cell Therapy?

Many countries use stem cell therapy, but each country is unique in terms of regulations and restrictions.

In Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Finland, the use of embryonic stem cells in any procedure is strictly prohibited. While some countries do not allow research using human embryos, this type of study is allowed in countries like the UK, Spain, Greece and Sweden.

Some of the more popular countries patients visit to get stem cell-based treatments include Mexico, Panama, and India. The main reason are the decreased costs.

For example, in Mexico, a single visit to a stem cell clinic can set you back only USD 1,000 or as much as USD 25,000. In Panama, there are clinics advertising their services at USD 15,000 to USD 23,000. And in India, a country well known for medical tourism, treatment costs are said to be around one-tenth of those in the US or the UK.

You may wonder why the costs are so low in some countries and so high in others. The answer lies in the regulations for those specific countries. An example would be Germany, which is one of the countries known to be very strict on its regulations. While German authorities may be very stringent on rules, they are also known for having top-quality clinics and doctors and safe medicinal products. This quality will usually come with a price.

The perfect example would be ANOVA Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which is held to the highest standards. All treatment plans are personalized per client, following a comprehensive diagnosis. While our rates are not published online, feel free to send us a message and start your healing today.

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Patient Services at ANOVA Institute for Regenerative Medicine

  • Located in the center of Germany, quick access by car or train from anywhere in Europe
  • Simple access worldwide, less than 20 minutes from Frankfurt Airport
  • Individualized therapy with state-of-the-art stem cell products
  • Individually planned diagnostic work-up which include world-class MRI and CT scans
  • German high quality standard on safety and quality assurance
  • Personal service with friendly, dedicated Patient Care Managers
  • Scientific collaborations with academic institutions to assure you the latest regenerative medical programs