Video: Mississippi Set to Become 12th “Right To Try” State

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Mississippi is now one of twelve states to allow the terminally ill to use potentially life-saving medicines that aren’t yet in the pharmacy. Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi “Right to Try Act’ this week.

“We care for terminally ill patients that are in their chronic stages and the last chronic stages of their diseases,” says Mitzi Swindle, Director of Legacy Hospice in Starkville.

Legacy Hospice provides comfort services to patients at their homes if they’ve been diagnosed with six months or less to live.  Senate Bill 2485, the Mississippi Right to Try Act, allows the terminally ill access to medicines that aren’t yet on the market. Swindle says Legacy Hospice will support a patient’s decision to use investigational medicines if it may save their life.

“If there’s any hope of a patient having a quality life and becoming cured of a disease, then we are all for that,” says Swindle.

Prior to the bill, patients could ask the FDA for permission to use the medications but fewer than 1,000 people a year are approved. Some people die waiting on approval but the FDA recently announced a plan to reduce the application form. Mississippi’s Right to Try Act is giving some patients their absolute last chance of survival.

“Some of them that are reaching for that last shot of a quality life or cure, I feel like some of those especially the younger ones, will reach out and maybe try these. I just hope it doesn’t give a false hope to those,” says Swindle.

The Right to Try Act applies to patients with a terminal disease who’ve exhausted all other options and aren’t eligible for a clinical trial. All medications under the new law must have successfully completed basic FDA safety testing.

Twenty other states are considering the law this year.

Governor Bryant also signed a bill that requires health insurers to cover therapy for those with Autism.

Categories: Local News, State News, Top Story

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