It may not fly well with airlines, but Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah, introduced a bill Wednesday to force them to sell low-cost tickets to people participating in federally funded clinical health trials.

The bill would make airlines give them the same air fares offered to those who purchase a ticket 21 days in advance and stay at their destination over a Saturday night - even if the sick people fly on short notice and do not stay overnight."I introduced HR2797 for the thousands of sick people who place great hope in these clinical trials but can't afford to participate in them because of the costly travel involved," he said.

He said the clinical trial population is small and would not place an undue burden on airlines. He added that the bill would not force airlines to give seat preferences.

Cook added that trials offering hope for better medication for ills such as cancer, AIDS and Parkinson's disease "require people to come to the test site for a few hours a week, month after month."

Cook said he introduced the bill at the request of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Utah.