"And by pushing legislation that targets the FDA, those who advocate for right-to-try are not putting forth viable solutions to these problems", House added.
The House bill, which was released Saturday by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas, is similar to legislation passed by the Senate in August.
The House has rejected a Republican bill easing how experimental drugs are provided to people with terminal illnesses.
Supporters say that terminally ill patients should have all the tools at their disposal to try medicines that could help them and that the federal government shouldn't be involved in that decision.
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Pallone's argument against the bill mirrors the argument of other opponents, who note the FDA has a compassionate-use program allowing physicians to request access to experimental drugs for patients; the FDA approves 99 percent of the requests in that program.
Democrats say the measure would achieve little since the federal Food and Drug Administration already approves almost all requests it receives for an existing program that lets patients use unproven treatments.
But none of them can override the federal law that says all drugs must have FDA approval. Objections to the bill were underpinned by the belief that it would have little effect on access to medicines but would render patients vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous doctors and drugmakers, who would have total control if the FDA was cut out of the process. Manufacturers would still not be required to provide their pharmaceuticals.
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Republican committee aides said that the House legislation also includes more robust informed consent requirements than the Senate bill and requires that doctors immediately notify the FDA about adverse events, something the Senate legislation does not include.
"The only way forward is to work with companies and to find out what would make them willing to provide their experimental products to patients who wish to try them", said New York University bioethicist Alison Bateman House in Politico's report. The House bill, taking a step in that direction, says patients would be eligible if they are likely to die in a "matter of months" or have a disease that would result in "significant irreversible morbidity that is likely to lead to severely premature death".
Dozens of patient-advocacy groups opposed the bill in a letter to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week.
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