INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2015) – A bill passed unanimously by the Indiana House today would nullify in practice some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that prevent treatments from being used by terminally ill patients.

House Bill 1065 (HB1065), the Right to Try Act, authored by Rep. Wes Culver (R-Goshon), is the latest pushback against the FDA and their controversial methodology of withholding experimental treatments for people even on their deathbed.

If passed into law, a patient suffering from a terminal disease attested to by a physician and who has considered all other approved treatment options would be able to try experimental treatments or drugs not yet approved by the FDA, effectively nullifying this narrow, but important set of federal restrictions. The vote in the House today was 98-0.

Physicians are protected under the bill as well. HB1065 reads in part:

This section does not create a cause of action against a physician, pharmacist, or hospital for the use of an investigational drug, biological product, or device by a patient for any harm to the patient from the investigational drug, biological product, or device.

HB1065 makes up part of a greater trend sweeping the nation. During this most recent November election, Arizona residents approved Prop. 303, known as the Arizona Terminal Patients’ Right to Try Referendum. The proposition allows investigational drugs, biological products or devices to be made available to eligible terminally ill patients, not permitted under the FDA.

Legislatures in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Louisiana, have already passed Right to Try Laws similar to the Arizona amendment, and more than 20 states are considering such measures in 2015, with legislative chambers in Virginia, Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas and Mississippi passing similar measures this month.

Although these laws only address one small aspect of FDA regulation, they provide us with a clear model demonstrating how to nullify federal statutes that violate the Constitution. The strategy narrows the influence of nullification to limited aspects of the law itself. The strategy works because it focuses on ending specific federal policies large numbers of Americans from across the political spectrum oppose.

HB1065 now moves to the state Senate, where it has already garnered a number of co-sponsors. It will first need to pass out of a yet-to-be-determined committee before the Senate has an opportunity to send it to the Governor’s desk.


In Indiana: Support this bill by following the action steps at THIS LINK

In Other States: Take the steps to get a similar bill passed in your state at this link.

Michael Boldin