South Carolina Senate panel OKs bill on experimental drugs

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina Senate subcommittee has given unanimous approval to a measure aimed at offering terminally ill patients an opportunity to use experimental drugs or devices that haven't received final federal approval.

The Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee Wednesday approved a bill proposed by Republican Sen. Paul Campbell of Goose Creek.

Campbell said he wants to give the terminally ill a chance to survive when other treatments haven't worked.

Under the bill, the patient's doctor must recommend a treatment that has passed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's initial level of approval. Under the bill the drug manufacturer isn't required to make the treatment available and the patient must bear the cost.

Similar legislation has been approved or is pending in more than two dozen states.

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