Assembly vote lets terminally ill request experimental drugs


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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Terminally ill patients would be able to use experimental drugs under a bill approved by the California Assembly.

The so-called "right-to-try" legislation would let patients who have exhausted other treatment options request medication that hasn't been approved by state or federal regulators.

Drug makers would decide whether to provide the medication. Some medical groups say the legislation could hurt the development of new drugs.

Democratic Assemblyman Ian Calderon of Whittier says patients with weeks or months to live should have more options.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says a dozen states have approved similar laws. Some lawmakers are introducing the bills as an alternate to "right-to-die" bills allowing access to life-ending drugs.

AB159 passed Monday on a 69 to 2 vote and now goes to the Senate.

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