AUSTIN (KXAN) - A solid majority of Texas House members have signed on to a letter urging their counterparts in California to help Austin cancer patient Andrea Sloan obtain potentially lifesaving medicine made by a drug maker in their state.
The letter, initiated by Austin Democrat Eddie Rodriguez, was signed by 82 members of both parties in the 150-member House, Nine of them are from Central Texas. It calls on the California Assembly to help persuade BioMarin to allow Sloan access to BMN 673, an experimental drug that has shown promise fighting ovarian cancer.
Sloan, executive director for the anti-family violenceTexas Advocacy Project, has Stage 3 ovarian cancer.
BioMarin has declined to allow Sloan the drug because it's still in the testing phase. But Sloan and her doctors say she is a prime candidate for a compassionate use exception because other treatment options have been exhausted.
"Andrea has, in short, spent her career doggedly fighting for the lives of others, the letter says. "She has saved lives, made lives better and helped people achieve the dignity and respect they deserve."
A lawmaker who represents the section of Northern California where BioMarin is headquartered, told a local newspaper that his office has been flooded with requests that he help Sloan obtain the drug. Rep. Jared Huffman of Marin County told the Marin Independent Journal the company is exploring the possibility of including the woman, Andrea Sloan, in a new clinical trial with the drug.
"We're talking about a matter weeks," Huffman told the newspaper. "Possibly 40 days. I'm looking into doing better than that."
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.