Gov. David Ige has already brought out his veto pen, spiking a measure that would let terminally ill patients try investigational drugs before the federal Food and Drug Administration approved them.

The Legislature approved Senate Bill 2181 last month, but the governor decided Friday to issue his first veto of the year.

“While admirably seeking to increase access to potentially life-saving drugs, this measure unreasonably compromises the consumer protections provided by the FDA’s expanded access program,” Ige said in a statement explaining his objections.

Governor David Ige during press conference on Dengue/Zika on Hawaii island. 27 april 2016
Gov. David Ige, seen here during a press conference last week, has vetoed a bill related to experimental drugs. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The governor said that the measure may also be unnecessary given that federal regulations already exist to govern the sale and distribution of investigational drugs.

There were 25 states at the end of 2015 that had enacted “right-to-try” legislation that makes available experimental drugs without FDA approval to terminally ill patients with no other medication or treatment options, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The legislative session ends Thursday. The House and Senate planned to spend Tuesday and  Thursday giving final votes to bills.

The governor has 45 days from sine die to veto bills. He must provide a list of those he intends to veto 35 days from Thursday.

About the Author