Congress OKs letting terminal patients try unapproved drugs

May 22, 2018 - 5:29 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has approved legislation helping people with deadly diseases try experimental treatments.

The House passed the legislation Tuesday by 250-169, nine months after it passed the Senate. The vote was a victory for President Donald Trump and a defeat for patient groups and Democrats who argued the measure was dangerous and dangled false hope.

The legislation would no longer require the Food and Drug Administration to approve if a doctor and drugmaker agree that a patient should try an unproven treatment. New drugs normally undergo years of testing before manufacturers seek FDA approval to market them.

The bill provides some legal protections for doctors and companies providing the treatment.

Critics say the bill is dangerous. And they say the FDA already lets people with deadly diseases try unproven drugs.