"Right To Try" Legislation Could Be Good News For "Terminally Ill" Patients

Rustburg, VA- A new piece of legislation could mean great news for terminally ill patients hoping to try anything to help them get better. SB 732 deals with expanded access to experimental drugs. If put into law, it would allow those terminally ill patients a "right to try" experimental drugs.

That's something Nathan Norman's family is really excited about; he's the Rustburg boy battling brain and spinal cord cancer. Nathan's mother Dawn Norman says this piece of legislation is huge. She says this time last year, they were out of options and not sure Nathan would still be with us today. But thankfully, they were able to get into a clinical trial that's helped Nathan tremendously, as we reported a few weeks ago.

However, she says not everyone qualifies for these trials -- and it can take a long time, sometimes years, to even get close to qualifying. She says for very sick patients time may not be something they have. And for pediatric cancer patients, she says there are only two FDA- approved drugs... so it could help them even more.

"Some kids don't have that year, two years, three years or adults don't have that time to wait for something to go to clinical trials and so for Nathan and for other patients, it allows them to go ahead and try something when they're out of their options," said Norman.

The bill has passed the full Senate unanimously, and now goes to the house. Sponsor Senator Bill Stanley's office says they expect the bill to pass there as well.

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