Medical Definition of Compassionate use

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Compassionate use: Term formerly used in the US for a method of providing experimental therapeutics prior to final FDA approval for use in humans. This procedure was used with very sick individuals who have no other treatment options. Often, case-by-case approval was obtained from the FDA for "compassionate use" of a drug or therapy. The use of this term is now discouraged by the FDA.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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