Las Vegas Sun

October 2, 2023

Assembly committee approves experimental-drug bill

CARSON CITY — Terminally ill patients would be allowed to try drugs not fully approved by the Federal Drug Administration under a bill approved today by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee.

Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, the author of the bill, said a terminally ill patient is defined as having less than a year to live. He said the availability of experimental drugs could prolong their lives, ease their suffering and possibly offer a cure.

Ohrenschall’s bill was combined with one by Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, D-Las Vegas.

Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to possess a drug that has not gained full federal approval.

The bill authorizes the use of experimental drugs that have completed the first of four phases of approval by the FDA. The first phase determines if the drug is safe.

It sometimes takes 15 years for full FDA approval.

Under the bill, doctors must first determine there are not a fully approved drugs available to treat a life-threatening illness before prescribing an experimental drug.

The bill, AB 164, was unanimously approved by the committee. It now goes to the floor of the Assembly for consideration.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy