India


The 2012 birthrate in India is 24.8 million per year (CIA World Factbook), the 2nd highest in the world after China. This, coupled with their use of English as a common language, and an economy that is open to foreign investment, have made India the world's most promising market for family cord blood banks.

Yet, India does not have a network of public cord blood banks collecting donations for transplant patients.

An article published in 2005 (Aug. issue of Express Healthcare Management) claims that only 200 Indian patients per year, out of a population of 1.1 billion, were receiving treatment in 15 facilities. At that time the cost of a bone marrow stem cell transplant was around Rs 6-8 lakh for autologous and Rs 10-12 lakh for allogeneic therapy ("lakh" means 100,000). While these prices are out of reach for many Indians, the services are sold to foreigners as a form of medical tourism.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is responsible for the establishment of policies regulating stem cell therapies in India, but enforcement remains loose.