Bill Would Give Terminally Ill Patients Access to Experimental Treatments (Video)

A proposed bill would give terminally ill access to experimental drugs that have not been fully approved by the FDA.

Rep. Gage Froerer (R-Huntsville) is sponsoring HB94 in the upcoming 2015 session. His proposal would not only allow patients the right to use those drugs, it would exempt their physicians from criminal penalties for administering the medication.

Any experimental treatment would have to be already through phase one of the FDA testing, which would ensure the medication did not do any harm. Froerer says those drugs would still face 8 to 10 more years of testing, which is time these patients don't have.

"These are people who are on a short term basis," says Froerer. "They’ve been diagnosed and don’t have the additional 8 to 10 years to wait for a drug that may be proven to be effective. Why make these people wait when they have the ability to cut through the red tape?"

Froerer says he sees very little harm in giving doctors and patients more choice.

"There’s no guarantee this will cure them. There’s no guarantee it will have any effect. All this bill does is say if you want to try it, if your doctor thinks it’s worth the risk, then you should have the ability to make that decision, not the FDA."