State Government

Rauner signs law allowing 'right to try' experimental drugs

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation allowing terminally ill patients in Illinois to use experimental drugs that might help them.

The bipartisan "right to try" initiative signed Wednesday allows qualified patients to ask pharmaceutical companies for drugs that are still being investigated, biological substances or devices that have passed early federal-approval stages.

Sponsoring state Sen. Michael Connelly, a Wheaton Republican, says the law offers help to people with debilitating illness such as HIV, Lou Gehrig's disease and other serious conditions.

Supporters say the plan gives people a chance to extend their lives after failing to get relief from established medicines. Medical experts question if it is a safe practice.

At least 13 states have adopted right to try in the past two years.

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The bill is HB1335.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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