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House passes ‘Right to Try’ laws similar to Arizona’s 2014 bill

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s “Right to Try” law has become the basic framework of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

The bill would allow patients with terminal illnesses who are out of medical options to receive investigational drugs in a final attempt to save their lives.

If passed federally, Arizonans would be allowed to access treatment in all 50 states.

“Arizona should be the one making choices about when folks need life-saving treatment,” Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said. “It should never be D.C.”

“Right to Try” laws were passed in Arizona in 2014, when almost 80 percent of voters approved the bill. It is one of 38 states to enact similar legislation to the bill going through Congress.

The federal bill says patients who have “exhausted approved treatment options” and cannot participate in clinical trials are allowed to try treatments that have completed the first phase of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing but not approved for market use.

It passed with a 267-149 margin.

Sinema co-sponsored the measure along with fellow Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs (R), Paul Gosar (R) and David Schweikert (R), and 40 others in the House.

The only Arizona representatives to vote against the bill were Raul Grijalva and Ruben Gallego, both Democrats.

“When folks are in the last couple months of their life, if they’re suffering from these debilitating cancers, they should have the right to seek the medical attention that they want to try,” Sinema said.

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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