Bipartisan effort to push Right to Try medical treatment legislation
State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Lisle) and State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) recently introduced Right to Try legislation in an effort to give terminally ill patients access to clinical trial, experimental medical treatments.
“I hope this shows that in Illinois, Republicans and Democrats, social liberals or social conservatives, can reach across the aisle to solve problems for suffering families,” Harris said. “These families are desperate to cut through red-tape to access possible cures for their loved ones when all other treatments have failed. 'Right to try' is a huge leap forward to help connect our state's most terminal patients with some of the nation’s best medical resources, including those here in Chicago and give them the gift of life."
Senate Bill 29, if passed, would allow Illinois to join Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri in passing such legislation.
“It is incumbent upon us in the General Assembly to provide our constituents afflicted with terminal illness access to potentially life-saving or life-extending medications that have been deemed safe by the FDA,” Connelly said. “This legislation does just that.”
Right to Try provides terminally ill citizens with Lou Gehrig's disease, cancer and numerous other serious conditions with access to experimental treatments. The FDA typically has a five-year trial period for the testing of medical and pharmaceutical products and procedures, delaying treatment for terminally ill patients.
“The FDA has been hesitant to ‘fast-track’ so-called experimental treatments, but in light of the recent Ebola world crisis - they might be wise to reconsider,” Connelly said. “We witnessed this past summer and fall that with the quick application of experimental medications, a certain death sentence of Ebola was reversed by the Zmapp drug and two medical professionals who worked in Africa were saved.”
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