Right to Try Bill Advances in State Senate

A local lawmaker’s bill to potentially give terminally ill patients access to medications that might save their lives is headed to the full Senate. The measure sponsored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau of Valparaiso passed the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services by a vote of 10-0.

It would allow terminally ill patients who meet certain criteria to receive pharmaceuticals which have passed the first phase of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process. Currently patients must wait two or four months to receive approval on an FDA application for expanded access.

“I believe that terminal patients should have access to medications that could potentially save their lives as soon as possible,” Charbonneau said in a statement. “This legislation gives hope to Hoosiers suffering from a terminal diagnosis and may add invaluable years to a patient’s life.”

Several states, including Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri, have already adopted “Right to Try” policies.