Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, has no cure and it’s on the mind of one of your senators in Washington.
Sen. Mike Braun told the Senate on the floor of the chamber on Tuesday that he is reintroducing a bill that would make it easier for ALS patients to have access to treatments that are still in the development phase.
Braun contests that the Food and Drug Administration is dragging its feet when it comes to approving possible treatments for ALS.
“Promising therapies that have demonstrated clinical safety and efficacy are on the horizon for those with ALS,” Braun said. “Failure to approve these promising treatments means the difference between life and premature death for these patients.”
Braun said the FDA’s approval process is moving too slow with extra clinical trials of certain drugs, which he feels are unnecessary. He said he feels that way because he says the same ALS treatment drugs that are still stuck in clinical trials in the U.S. are advancing in European countries and Canada.
“Unfortunately, the FDA has expressed the need for additional clinical trials before allowing patients to access these drugs in the U.S,” Braun said.
He said this is something that many ALS patients cannot afford to wait on and that many patients, and caregivers he has spoken with feel they are willing to take a risk on certain drugs and treatments that have not been approved by the FDA if it means a there could be a chance for survival.
Braun said he is launching the ALS Caucus in Congress, which he says will be made up of lawmakers that will push for legislation beneficial to ALS patients.
He is also re-introducing a resolution called the Promising Pathway Act which is a resolution calling on medical experts to increase access to certain ALS treatments that haven’t been fully approved yet.