HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Legislation that allows the terminally ill to use experimental drugs and devices not approved by the FDA is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.
House Bill 45 cleared the legislature Wednesday after the House unanimously concurred with Senate amendments.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), said the FDA’s approval process includes three rounds of clinical trials and can take as long as 15 years, leaving many to die while awaiting treatment. His “right to try” bill allows drugmakers to make the products available to eligible patients after one successful clinical trial.
“Faced with certain death, terminally ill patients do not have the luxury of time and have likely exhausted all other available options,” Godshall said in a statement. “If they want to try medications that have not completed the rigorous FDA testing and approval process, they should be permitted to do so. House Bill 45 would give them that choice.”
Physicians would not be held liable for recommending experimental products to terminally ill patients.
The bill does not require insurers to cover these products, but they may do so at their own discretion.