Del. Margaret Ransone’s Right to Try legislation passes House committee

healthcareDel. Margaret Ransone’s House Bill 1750, which expands access to investigational drugs for terminally ill patients, passed from the House Health Welfare and Institutions Committee this morning. The legislation is expected to come to a vote on the House floor early next week.

Speaking about the legislation, Del. Ransone said, “Aimee Hardy struggled last year to get a life-saving treatment for her son Josh, who had a rare viral infection. After a passionate campaign that gained national attention, she was able to get a waiver for medication that had not yet been approved by the FDA to treat her son. Josh is now out of the hospital and will celebrate his ninth birthday in March. My ‘right to try’ legislation provides a literal life-line for terminally ill patients to be able to have that chance. That final opportunity to save a life for families like Josh’s is fundamental and should trump regulations. I’m pleased that this legislation was passed out of committee and look forward to it coming to a vote on the House floor next week.”

“I’m proud to join the Hardy family in supporting House Bill 1750, which will allow for the use of experimental drugs like the one that saved Josh’s life,” said House Speaker Bill Howell. “I’m glad the bill is moving forward and look forward to supporting it on the House floor. Josh’s fight reminds us all how precious life is, and we have the opportunity this year to give more families that fighting chance.”

Background on House Bill 1750: Right to Try legislation offers the opportunity for terminally ill patients, under the supervision of their physician, to receive experimental drugs. This bill provides that access only if the drug has successfully completed phase one of a clinical trial process. The patient must be defined terminally ill by his or her treating physician and confirmed by a second physician not previously involved with the patient’s treatment.

The legislation does not mandate the manufacturer to provide the experimental drug. It allows the physician and the patient to go straight to the manufacturer and bypasses the compassionate use program when time is critical. This would be an option only after all FDA-approved treatment options had been exhausted and the treating physician and second physician not previously involved agree that the experimental drug is a preferable option.

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