A Bill in Connecticut is seeking to end some FDA restrictions for terminally ill patients who would like to venture into possibly trying “UN-approved” treatment methods for their illness. The bill, which passed by 24-2, would nullify some FDA rules which are currently in place to prevent and deny access for patients who want to use experimental treatments. The legislation in question, HB5270, was introduced just last month by a collective of six representatives and senators.
As it stands currently, some patients are able to bypass those restrictions by first receiving approval from the FDA. But the new bill would allow it so that patients could obtain the drugs without first having to go through the process of waiting for FDA approval to do so. When it comes to trying drugs that have no proven track record of success, the decision will ultimately rest with the individual in that HB5270 will shield physicians from liability even though they might prescribe the drugs.
There is already similar legislation in a number of other states, like Alabama, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Montana, North Carolina, Minnesota, Louisiana, Florida, and others. They are commonly referred to as “Right-to-try” laws and these laws allow for terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs which have already completed Phase 1 of testing but might not have been approved by the FDA officially and allowed to proceed to market. Many see these laws as affording the patients with one last chance to try and seek a solution.
There are a number of different treatments that an individual might want to employ if they were facing an incurable illness and possible threat of death. From natural and holistic avenues or even simple fasting and praying, to extreme pharmaceutical treatment options; an individual has a choice of which avenue they might want to go in. This bill expands their options in allowing them to access treatment without first having to seek FDA approval where they otherwise might have had to wait and do so.
There may be risks with taking experimental drugs, but shouldn't the decision rest with the individual seeing as it is their body and they pay the consequences? Some see present FDA restrictions as inhumane because they would allow for an individual to die rather than afford them the liberty to make the choice of trying an option that might help them in some way. This current bill, HB5270, will be moving forward to the House now for consideration.
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