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House committee approves 'Right to Try' bill

Posted at 12:03 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 19:12:18-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A House panel has approved a bill that would allow patients with terminal diseases to try drugs that have yet to obtain the Food and Drug Administration's final approval.

House Bill 481 passed through the House Health and Welfare Committee in an 8-2 vote Tuesday. It will now face the full House for a vote.

Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow, of Boise, says the measure will cut through bureaucratic red tape and give patients with terminal illness hope. She assured the committee that a patient would assume the costs and the legal responsibility for the treatment.

 However, Republican Rep. Fred Wood, of Burley, and Democratic Rep. John Rusche, of Lewiston, both opposed the measure. Wood argued insurance companies would eventually have to foot the bill, while Rusche said the measure would interfere with clinical trials.