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Stacey Lee

For those diagnosed with a terminal illness, survival could depend on gaining access to new or experimental drugs in clinical trials—and far from approval for public use.

Access to these drugs is difficult, but not impossible to get. A frustration for many patients in this situation is that when they reach out to pharmaceutical companies, they often encounter unclear and incomplete guidelines for acquiring the treatment that could save their lives.

A recent study by a Johns Hopkins University expert on the legal aspects of health care proposes a solution. Writing in the Journal of Business Ethics, Stacey Lee, an assistant professor of law and ethics at JHU’s Carey Business School, suggests a framework that would give patients the guidance they need, primarily through clear, comprehensive information on the drug manufacturers’ websites that spells out the procedures for expanded access.

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