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Bill giving patients ‘Right to Try’ experimental treatments heads to Senate

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A senate committee will hold a public hearing for a bill aimed at helping terminally ill patients.

If it passes, it would allow people to seek experimental treatments not yet fully approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

The “Right to Try” bill passed the house unanimously in February. Wednesday begins the process of the bill heading through the Senate.

Five-year-old Jordan McLinn has been the face of this legislation for Indiana. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 24-Hour News 8 first met him back in December when he became an honorary Indianapolis firefighter.

If the Right to Try bill passes, it allows terminally ill patients to opt in for experimental treatments if they have passed at least Phase-1 approval through the Federal Drug Administration.

That means Jordan could try a clinical drug that his family says is making a difference in kids like him in states where the right to try has already passed.

Without additional treatments he’ll likely be wheelchair bound in about five years and is not expected to live past 20.

“Most kids are starting to think about their careers and their dreams closer to age 20 but Jordan might not have that opportunity. It is 100 percent fatal,” said Laura McLinn, Jordan’s mother.

According to the Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based public policy advocacy and research organization, Right To Try laws are already in place in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri. Indiana along with 27 other states are considering the law this year.

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee will hold the public hearing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Statehouse.