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Introduced bill offers access to untested drugs

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Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 13:02:50-05

A Boise Democrat is spearheading a proposal that would give terminally ill patients access to drugs yet to clear full FDA approval.

The bill, nicknamed the "Right to Try," offers hope for patients who have found little success with traditional medication. It would give narrow access to those given a terminal diagnosis the opportunity to try medication that has only cleared safety testing through the FDA.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise. She says the drive behind the push is a Boise man named John Knudsen, who has been diagnosed with ALS. His current diagnosis is grave.

The typical process for drug approval has several phases. Drugs normally go through a rigorous clinical research period, which can take years. Should this bill pass, it would grant patients like Knudsen access to numerous pre-trial drugs that may help.

Wintrow says there's no cost to the General Fund to pass this legislation.