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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Experimental Drugs For Terminal Patients Nears Statehouse Approval

Terminally ill patients in South Dakota could get a chance to try experimental drugs that have not completed the full FDA approval process.

The State Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1080—it gives a dying patient a chance to try an unproven drug treatment.  

State Representative Leslie Heinemann is a sponsor of the bill.     

“No one is required to participate.  It’s strictly voluntary.   That includes the drug companies, the patient,  the doctor, and liability is waved.  There is a section in there that discusses that.   Remember this is a terminally ill patient,” says Heinemann.

Heinemann says currently terminally ill patients are travelling abroad to countries that have already approved treatments.

Five other states have passed similar measures.   The bill received unanimous committee approval. It goes next to the Senate floor for final consideration.