(WAFF) - Terminally ill patients now have new treatment options.
Governor Bentley signed the "Gabe Griffin Right to Try" bill into law last week. It allows doctors to prescribe dying patients, drugs that haven't been fully approved by the FDA, in an effort to stop the progression of their disease.
The bill was named after 10-year-old Alabamian Gabe Griffin.
Gabe is your average boy, who loves hanging out with friends and playing video games. But Griffin also has a form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne.
"I can't balance really well, said Gabe, who was diagnosed at the age of 3. His condition is progressing.
"[It makes me] sad because all my other friends can ride bikes," said Gabe.
There is no cure, and to date, no one has survived from the condition.
"As his heart beats, or as he walks up and down stairs, or as he runs, his muscles are breaking down like all of ours do, but he doesn't have the protein like we do to rebuild them all up," explained Gabe's father, Scott.
But now there is hope with the signing of the Right to Try bill into law.
"As a parent we say we will jump in front of a moving train to save our child," said Scott. "Well, Duchenne is that moving train, and I am here to jump in front of it."
The Griffins say the FDA approval process is too tedious, too selective and too time-consuming to provide any hope.
Under the provisions of the law, insurers would not be required to cover the cost of treatment, and doctors would only be allowed to prescribe drugs the FDA has deemed not unreasonably toxic.
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