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Cover Story: Politics, Policy & Law: Patching compassionate access

Congress might move on compassionate access; wholesale reform looks unlikely

By Steve Usdin, Washington Editor

Six months after a viral media campaign saved seven-year-old Josh Hardy's life by persuading Chimerix Inc. to work with FDA to provide access to an investigational therapy, new compassionate access policies are being debated in the halls of Congress, corporate boardrooms and academic think tanks. So far, the legislative provisions under consideration represent only incremental changes to the system.

While cable television and Twitter have long since moved on, last week Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), co-chair of the congressional childhood cancer caucus, told BioCentury he is drafting compassionate access legislation that he plans to introduce in 2015.

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