Capitol Alert

‘Right-to-try’ experimental drug legislation still up in the air

What bills will Jerry Brown sign?

Gov. Jerry Brown has hundreds of bills to sign or veto before Sept. 30. Here's what to keep an eye on.
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Gov. Jerry Brown has hundreds of bills to sign or veto before Sept. 30. Here's what to keep an eye on.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday shielding patients from large bills when they are treated by an out-of-network doctor at an in-network hospital and eliminating California’s ban on pharmacies providing more than a three-month supply of birth control pills.

But with just less than a week before his Sept. 30 deadline to act on hundreds of bills, another health-related bill remains unsettled.

Here’s one significant piece of legislation we’re watching:

Assembly Bill 1668 (Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier): Allows pharmaceutical companies to make not-yet-fully-approved treatments available to patients with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease.

Analysis: This is a second act for the so-called “right-to-try” legislation, which Brown vetoed last year. In his veto message, Brown said “patients with life-threatening conditions should be able to try experimental drugs” but that proposed changes to federal policies would streamline access to such drugs.

Proponents of the bill have said those new regulations, while an improvement, do not go far enough.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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