This afternoon, the North Carolina Senate unanimously passed House Bill 652, bipartisan legislation that would establish a process by which eligible patients who are terminally ill could obtain access to investigational drugs, biological products, and devices — so long as various requirements are met.
The “Right to Try Act for Terminally Ill Patients” is a critical step for the bill to become law; House Bill 652, which passed the House unanimously in April, now awaits Governor Pat McCrory‘s signature.
“We are pleased that our colleagues in the Senate also understand the importance of giving terminally ill North Carolinians more freedom to make personal healthcare choices,” Speaker Tim Moore stated on Tuesday.
“When faced with life-or-death decisions, patients should be able to exercise all available options,” Majority Leader Mike Hager, a primary sponsor of HB652, stated. “This important issue came to my attention when a constituent of mine reached out to share her story. She is living today, three years past her terminal diagnoses, because of her participation in multiple clinical trials. She raised the point to me; however, that many people don’t have the overall physical health, family support, or financial means to travel to distant research facilities and meet the strict FDA guidelines. This bill was drafted to give my constituent, and the many others with similar stories, a chance at life.”
“This bill simply gives the most critical patients an opportunity to try innovative medicines and technologies that are still hung up in FDA approval stages,” stated Representative Hugh Blackwell, also a primary sponsor of HB652. “It’s a common-sense law that we hope will provide a ray of hope for many people.”