Lawmaker seeks access to experimental medicines

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker with a seriously ill daughter is encouraging colleagues to pass legislation that could make it easier for patients to gain access to experimental medications.

A House committee heard testimony Wednesday on legislation by Rep. Jim Neely that would let drug manufacturers give or sell medicines still in the investigational stages to patients. Neely says many terminally ill patients are willing to try medicines that don't have approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration. But he says access is limited to those medications.

Neely is a Cameron physician whose 40-year-old daughter is dealing with colon cancer and liver failure. He says the legislation may be too late for his own family but could help others.

Several parents whose children have had serious illnesses testified for the bill.

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