Governor Bruce Rauner today signed House Bill 1335, a bill sponsored by state Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Wheaton, that assists terminally ill people by allowing them access to experimental drugs.
Known as the “Right to Try” Act, HB 1335 would give terminally-ill patients access to clinical-trial, experimental medical treatments and medications. "Right to Try" offers hope to terminally-ill citizens afflicted with HIV, ALS, cancer or a litany of other serious conditions access to experimental treatments.
“We are excited that Gov. Rauner has signed this critical piece of legislation to help terminally ill patients and their families,” said Connelly. “Terminally-ill patients now will have access to experimental drugs to help end their debilitating health conditions. This legislation was negotiated in good faith by both sides of the aisle and is a great example of what can happen when we leave partisan differences at the door in order to craft good public policy.”
HB 1335 is the result of bi-partisan cooperation, said Connelly, and would not have been possible without the teamwork of state Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill and helped pass the measure in the House.
Typically, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a five year trial period for the testing of medical and pharmaceutical products and procedures, which delays treatment for terminally-ill patients.
In recent years, terminally-ill patients have gone to extremes for potential cures to their ailments such as traveling to the Netherlands for Alzheimer's treatments, or France for revolutionary chemo-therapies.
The Arizona-based free market think tank Goldwater Institute describes "right to try" as a means that "gives those who've lost hope, one last chance to win it back."
HB 1335 passed the Senate 52-0 in May.