Joining thirteen other states, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would cancel out Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions preventing terminally ill patients from accessing certain experimental treatments
Currently, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits general access to experimental drugs, but allows for possible access under direct approval from the FDA on a case by case basis, putting a decision best determined by a doctor in the hands of the Federal government. Florida House Bill 269 (HB269), known as the “Right to Try Act” H269 bypasses the FDA restrictions and allows patients to obtain experimental drugs from manufacturers without obtaining FDA approval.
Coming out in favor of the bill, Rep. Katie Edwards (D-98) stated lawmakers need to get government out of the way and help patients. “More so than illness, what stands in the way [of treatment] is bureaucracy.”
“This is so important to families back home. … There’s nothing more precious than time with your family,” said Rep. Debbie Mayfield (R-54) In April 2007, her husband, former Rep. Stan Mayfield, was diagnosed with cancer and did clinical trials.
Today, the Senate version (SB 1052) of the “Right to Try” bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-22), passed through committee with a unanimous vote and will move to the Florida Senate floor. If approved by the Florida Senate, and signed into law by Governor Scott, the Act will allow terminally ill patients to make the choice for themselves as to whether or not to engage in experimental treatments.