- A method of providing experimental therapeutics prior to final FDA approval for use in humans. This procedure is used with very sick individuals who have no other treatment options. Often, case-by-case approval must be obtained from the FDA for "compassionate use" of a drug or therapy.
- Use of an investigational drug or biologic or unapproved medical device for a single subject (or small group of subjects) with a serious disease or condition, who does not meet the requirements for inclusion in a clinical investigation, and for whom no standard acceptable treatment is available. Prior FDA and IRB approval are required for compassionate use.
Note: The terms compassionate use and emergency use are not synonymous.