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Terminally ill Nebraskans will soon have more options

Terminally ill Nebraskans will soon have more options

Lincoln, Neb. — A new Nebraska law will give terminally ill patients the opportunity to attempt treatments that have not yet received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, but some doubt the change will make much difference.

Sen. Robert Hilkemann, a retired podiatrist from Omaha, says the so-called “right-to-try” legislation eases the process for terminally ill patients to access unapproved treatments and drugs in the clinical trial stages of FDA approval. The law takes effect in July.

Lincoln Dr. Leslie Spry acknowledged existing rules are cumbersome, but even with a more streamlined system he’ll need to carefully study an experimental drug before recommending its use.

Still, Sen. Mark Kolterman, of Seward, supported the change, noting it might have helped his wife, who died from pancreatic cancer last year.

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