Legislation has been approved by the Oklahoma House committee which would allow terminally ill patients to have access to experimental medications which are not yet available to the public.
Rep. Richard Morrissette (D) is the author of the Oklahoma version of the Right to Try bill. Morrissette has said, according to the AP, this bill can give new hope to terminally ill patients “that one of these experimental drugs will hit the mark.”
The House Public Health Committee voted 10-0 on Tuesday in favor of pushing the bill forward for consideration by the full House. A number of other states, such as Arizona, Colorado, and Louisiana already have similar bills in place.
The Daily Journal reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already allows terminally ill patients to seek to undergo experimental medications. However, it usually takes hundreds of hours to complete the paperwork and for the paperwork to make its way through the proper government channels before it is approved. Many terminally ill patients die while waiting to receive government approval to undergo these new medical treatments.
Christina Sandefur is an attorney for the Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy group, and she said, “These are people whose days, hours, even minutes may be numbered.”
There would be some requirements when it comes to receiving the experimental medications even if the bill were to pass.
One requirement is a terminally ill patients doctor must approve of the usage of the medication before moving forward. The patient in question would also have to acknowledge the medication they would be receiving poses potential risks o their health and well-being. The company who develops the drug must also be willing to make the medication available to the patient.
The bill would also allow pharmaceutical companies to deploy experimental treatment devices in the same manner as the experimental medications.
The full bill can be read here.