Right To Try Act Would Allow Access To Investigational Drugs

Apr 15, 2015

Rep. Greg Harris is the sponsor of House Bill 1335, or the Right to Try Act.
Credit ILGA.gov

It can take a decade or more for the FDA to approve a new medicine, but a measure in the Illinois House is meant to help people who can't wait that long.

Rep. Greg Harris, a Democrat from Chicago, says for people who have been told they have just a short time to live, it could be a ray of hope. "It's the last, best hope for some of our constituents," he said. "I'm very proud to carry it. I'm proud to give this hope to people who have no place else to turn."

Anyone who tries to block a patient's access to an investigational drug would be fined $1500, but insurance companies wouldn't be required to cover drugs still in experimental stages.

One lawmaker voted no, out of concern they haven't been through scientific rigor and that pharmaceutical firms would use it as an excuse to evade the government's strict testing standards.