Legislation To Expand Access To Experimental Drugs Introduced

Feb 12, 2015

New legislation aimed at increasing access to experimental medical treatments was introduced Wednesday at the Statehouse.  It could broaden access to drugs not yet approved by the FDA.

The House committee on Health Education and Welfare held a hearing Wednesday on legislation that could expand access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients in RI.

There is already a process for patients with terminal illness to try out drugs that are still in testing… But Democratic Representative Joseph McNamara wants to make it easier.   He said all the red tape doctors and patients have to cut through takes too long for people who are critically ill. 

In a statement, a drug industry lobbying group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said bypassing FDA oversight might not be in the best interest of patients.  But the group agrees the FDA needs to improve access to experimental drugs. 

Five states have already enacted similar legislation.

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