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PA Right to Try Legislation Heads to Governor for Signature

October 09, 2017

Late last week, the Pennsylvania House unanimously approved House Bill 45, sponsored by Representative Robert Godshall, to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental medical treatments and medications that have not been approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. This follows unanimous approval in the Senate earlier in the week. The legislation now heads to Governor Wolf, who is expected to sign it.

Each year, as many as one million Americans die from a terminal illness. When new treatments and medications become available, it can take as long as 15 years to receive federal approval and become available to the public.

Right to Try legislation allows for a terminally ill patient, after exhausting other medical options, to try new treatments that have passed basic safety testing with federal officials, but not yet received final approval. The legislation provides immunity for a provider if a patient chooses to move forward with an experimental treatment.

Pennsylvania is set to join 37 other U.S. states that have Right to Try laws in place.

Similar legislation also was approved earlier last week by federal lawmakers. 

For more information about this or other state legislation related to patient care, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy.

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