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A bill to allow terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs and devices that have yet to receive full approval from regulators is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.
The House voted 69-3 on Monday to approve Senate amendments to HB94, providing final approval by lawmakers. The Senate earlier approved it 26-0, and the House also had earlier endorsed it on a 72-1 vote.
The bill by Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, would allow patients, in partnership with their doctors, to approach drug companies directly and request treatments that have passed the first phase of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval process, showing they are safe for human trials. Patients may face paying the full cost of the drug.
"It really is an opportunity to allow hope to people that may otherwise not have it," Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, told the Senate last week.
Talan Summers, 23, from Tremonton is among those who pushed for the bill. He has a rare disease called IGg4 systemic sclerosing disease, which is turning his tissues and organs hard inside. There is no cure, and the disease eventually will kill him
"There's still a lot of meds I don't know about that could come to light that could help me," Summers said. "I hope every day there will be something."