COLUMBUS—House Bill 290, sponsored by State Representatives Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) and Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), received a second hearing in the House Health and Aging Committee, in which proponents traveled from across the state and out of state to deliver their support to the committee.

House Bill 290 would allow Ohioans who are suffering from a terminal illness to have increased access to investigational drugs, biological products, or devices that have passed Phase I of a United States Food and Drug Administration clinical trial and are still being considered for full approval.

Broadview Heights resident, Brian Wolf was traveling to Chicago, Illinois for a clinical trial for his son, Jack.  Representative Anielski read his testimony to the committee to ensure that no detail went unnoticed.  Wolf said, "Right to try opens a previously locked door for those who have a fatal disease with nowhere else to turn for that glimmer of hope they are looking for."

Kurt Altman, of Goldwater Institute, said, "We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Anielski and Sprague on this very important issue. The people of Ohio deserve right to try and we look forward to seeing HB 290 reach the finish line."

Ohio’s Right to Try legislation places the control in the hands of the patient or their guardians, while ensuring that they are completely informed and aware of the possible risks and unknown effectiveness associated with investigational medications.

“The legislation is a last resort for individuals and their families who feel that their terminal illness has left them no where else to turn,” Rep. Anielski said. “Allowing those diagnosed individuals the right to try new medications, under the care and supervision of a physician, has the possibility to greatly improve the patient’s quality of life and, in some cases, provide life saving measures.”

“House Bill 290 will ensure that terminally ill patients have an opportunity to access investigational drugs, without only being limited to clinical trials and the federal government’s Expanded Access Program.  Clinical trials can be difficult to access, and the federal government’s current program has an extensive application process that can take months to complete,” said Representative Sprague. “We feel that House Bill 290 can help patients overcome these barriers to care.”  

Twenty-four states have passed this type of legislation, and nineteen of these states have passed a Right to Try bill in their most recent legislative session.


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