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‘Right to Try’ bill would give access to experimental drugs

Two Illinois lawmakers want terminally ill patients to have access to experimental treatments.

Republican state Sen. Michael Connelly and Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris said Friday they’re sponsoring “Right to Try” legislation.

The bill would allow those with terminal illnesses to contact manufacturers about new treatments if they’ve exhausted all others approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Patients would still need doctor approval to seek the experimental drugs, treatments or devices. But the act would open the door for options that otherwise aren’t available.

Illinois would join six other states that have similar laws for the terminally ill. Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri have passed laws that grant access to experimental treatments.

It can take years for an experimental drug to receive approval by the FDA.

NICK SWEDBERG, Associated Press