Legislature OKs ‘Right-To-Try’ Bill, Sends Measure to Brown
On Wednesday, the Assembly voted 63-2 to approve a bill (AB 159) that would give patients with terminal illnesses greater access to experimental medications, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The bill now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) (White, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/2).
Details of Bill
AB 159, by Assembly member Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), would allow patients with terminal illnesses who have tried all other viable treatment options to request drugs that have not yet been approved by state or federal regulators. Drugmakers would decide whether to provide the medication (California Healthline, 5/19).
The "right-to-try" legislation also would protect doctors and insurers from liability for negative consequences.
FDA allows access to drugs still in development through clinical trials or an "expanded access" process, but advocates of the measure said such processes are not efficient or readily available for patients with terminal illnesses.
Some groups expressed concerns about the bill causing patient harm or a false sense of hope, including the:
- Association of Northern California Oncologists; and
- California Nurses Association ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/2).