Posted by Ravid Gil
on July 01, 2000 at 17:38:12:
The Access to Medical Treatment Act (AMTA) has been in committee, in both the House and the Senate, for ten months. If passed by both houses, AMTA would allow your doctor to write a prescription for any experimental or alternative medicine--FDA approved or not. You would pay the costs charged by the drug company.
AMTA has strong bipartisan support: the House bill has 40 co-sponsors, for example. The House & Senate bills are identical.
We all know there is a new cancer drug announced every day, but under present FDA rules, we can't get these drugs for many years. STI571, an apparent cure (or near cure) for CML, is an example. This drug is only available in a clinical trial that is full.
We are in the midst of a research revolution that is producing many promising therapies, and the recent mapping of the human genome will bring many more. It is intolerable to have these drugs withheld from us for up to 12 years while we are forced to take toxic chemotherapy.
You can do something about this. The Lymphoma Action Alliance has started an e-mail campaign to key members of the committees that are considering these bills. We ask that you e-mail the suggested committee members and tell them your personal feelings about cancer. Ask them to return AMTA to Congress to be passed ASAP. Let them know that some 450,000 cancer victims have perished while AMTA has been in committee. Some of them could have been helped by experimental drugs.
In addition, ask your friends and family to write e-mail also and pass the word along to THEIR contacts. With a little luck, and the power of the Internet, we can get a large response and send a powerful message.
Use the link at the bottom for the text and proper numbers of the bill(s), plus the e-mail links to several key committee members. Each link will take you to a form and a letter box in which to write your personal message to one of the committee members. You should e-mail all the members listed. Don't forget to use the proper bill number in your e-mail and DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR NAME AND OTHER INFO REQUESTED ON THE FORM.