[r73] Bill expands options for the terminally ill

Posted by: Lindsay Devlin  | Wednesday, February 11, 2015

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) co-authored House Bill (HB) 1065 which would increase the opportunity for terminally ill patients to receive experimental medical treatment. HB 1065 passed out of the House unanimously.

“There are many Hoosiers are who are suffering from a terminal illness, and this measure would give those individuals the opportunity to try experimental treatment in hopes of finding a cure or reducing their pain. I hope this legislation provides some peace of mind and offers hope to these individuals and their families,” said Rep. Davisson.

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval process can take a decade to approve certain treatments for use on the market. While each drug must go through rigorous clinical trials, many individuals with serious conditions do not have time to wait for a treatment to undergo the final phases of approval.

HB 1065 seeks to give individuals suffering with a terminal condition the option to try an experimental treatment.  In order to qualify, under this bill, a patient must be diagnosed as terminal and the probable risk of treatment must not be greater than the condition.

“Every Hoosier deserves the right to fight for their life,” said Rep. Davisson. “This bill allows those individuals greater flexibility over their treatment options, which may turn out to be their once chance for a cure.”

The physician will assess the patient’s risk and must prescribe the treatment under HB 1065. Even though the cost for experimental treatment is not covered by insurance, the bill does not prevent drug companies from covering the costs of the experiment procedures if they so choose to pay for the treatment.

HB 1065 will now go to the Senate for further discussion and debate.