A bill authored by a Southland lawmaker and signed into law by the governor will allow terminally ill patients to access experimental and unapproved treatments.

The “Right to Try” statute will allow California physicians to prescribe or recommend treatments that have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The legislation was authored by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, and co-authored by several other lawmakers, including Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, who formerly worked as a pharmacist.

Drugs and procedures that have successfully completed phase one of an FDA-approved clinical trial will be permissible under the new law, even while such treatments have not been approved for general use.

Eligible patients must have an immediately life-threatening disease or condition, considered all other treatment options approved by the FDA, and have a recommendation from their doctor to participate in a clinical trial.

Similar legislation has been passed in more than 30 states, according to Stone’s office.

Stone said he has “seen firsthand the frustration of people and families who are battling not only these horrible, life-threatening illnesses, but the government bureaucracy that stands in the way of hope.

“These people do not have time to wait while the approval process for these drugs and treatments grinds on for months and years,” he said. “I’m thankful the governor has signed this important legislation. It gives patients with terminal illness some hope for themselves and their families.”

–City News Service

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