Giving hope: Right to Try Signed into Law

ean? It refers to the ability of terminally-ill patients, who after having exhausted all other options and who are unable to participate in a clinical trial involving certain drugs, to access experimental drugs or therapy. The Right to Try offers the freedom to access medicine that is still in the investigational phase.
Right to Try is very important to families when a relative is struggling with life-threatening illness. While the medicine, technology, and research available today is far and above anything that we have ever seen, too many individuals living with terminal illnesses still run out of medical options. Some have been left with little hope. Unfortunately, some patients do not qualify for clinical trials that could save their lives or have the time to wait for drugs to gain full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – an approval process which averages 15 years. The bureaucratic structure of the FDA has created a gridlock for life-saving drugs to be introduced to the market, and patients should not have to beg the federal government for permission to exercise all paths available to save their lives.
S. 204, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017, grants the Right to Try to patients who have no remaining alternative treatment choice. The legislation amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to exempt certain unapproved, investigational drugs to a terminally-ill patient who has exhausted approved treatment options and is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the drugs.
I voted for the legislation, which first passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate and then by a bipartisan vote in the House by 250-169. Washington state legislators unanimously passed similar legislation at the state level in 2017, becoming the 34th state to ensure the Right to Try. I was proud to support the Right to Try Act at the federal level.
In his 2018 State of the Union speech, President Trump supported the Right to Try, saying, “We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives. People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the ‘right to try.’”
On Wednesday, May 30, President Trump signed the right to try legislation into law. I am proud that we were able to act to provide families who are in so much need of hope with the freedom to try what may help their loved ones.

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers