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Arizonans overwhelmingly approve Proposition 303 on experimental drugs

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PHOENIX – Arizona voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Proposition 303, which aims to allow terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental drugs that have passed the first phase of FDA approval.

The Legislature referred the measure to the ballot based on a resolution authored by Rep. Phil Lovas, R-Peoria, who said the measure would give the terminal patients some opportunity to try something that has shown promise.

However, opponents said Proposition 303 would subject the terminal patients to greater dangers by granting them the drugs that have yet to be proven in FDA trials.

The Goldwater Institute, an independent group that advocates for limited government, was the main supporter of the measure, contributing nearly all of the $71,000 that had been raised by mid-September.

Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, who supports Proposition 303, said he was not surprised by the outcome, as Arizona voters have always been sympathetic to people with terminal illnesses.

“To be able to use some type of drug, let it be marijuana, let it be a drug that is not approved by the FDA,” he said. “People want choices.”