Sinema-backed Bill to Improve Access to Potentially Life-Saving Treatment Passes Congress

Bill empowers patients and their doctors to use experimental treatments in life-or-death situations

Legislation heads to president’s desk to be signed into law

Potentially life-saving treatments will be easier to access thanks to a plan supported by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) that passed the House of Representatives today. The innovative proposal would enable Arizonans suffering from life-threatening conditions to access potentially life-saving treatments that are currently denied them by the federal government. The bill, similar to a measure that passed in Arizona, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“Arizona families should be free to make their own health care choices with their doctors,”said Congresswoman Sinema. “This bill takes Washington bureaucrats out of the equation when it comes to Arizonans’ health decisions and allows patients facing terminal illness to explore every possible treatment with their doctors. We worked across the aisle to pass this commonsense solution that could save lives in Arizona and help families benefit from medical innovations.”

Currently, when patients with potentially fatal conditions exhaust their available medical options, their only chance at potentially life-saving treatment is often to join a clinical trial. Yet the odds of being accepted into a clinical trial are exceedingly low. The bill Sinema voted for gives these patients the ability, within certain guidelines, to try experimental treatments that have completed the first phase of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing, but have not been cleared to go to market.

In Arizona, similar legislation passed by ballot measure in 2014 with the support of 80% of Arizonans. A federal standard would allow patients in Arizona to access treatments developed in all 50 states.