Congress Passes Right to Try Bill


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With the Passage of S.204, Patients Will Have Access to Potentially Life-Saving Treatments

On Tuesday, May 22, the House passed S.204, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. The Right to Try Act will enable terminally ill patients to obtain easier access to treatments not yet approved by the FDA. House passage ensures that the bill will head straight to the President’s desk for his signature.

Kyle Burgess, Consumers’ Research’s Executive Director, released the following statement on the bill’s passage:

“The Right to Try Act is an important bill that has received bipartisan support, and represents a rare opportunity for Congress to provide clear comfort to the suffering, and to extend – and even save – lives. These patients do not have time to wait for FDA approval, and a clinical trial may not be the right solution for them either. Congress can make significant strides in making cutting-edge treatments available to the patients who need it most.”

The bill improves on the FDA’s current system of Compassionate Use by insulating drug approvals from improper consideration of adverse outcomes resulting from experimental Compassionate Use treatments and by limiting the liability of drug makers from adverse outcomes resulting from experimental treatments—a necessary protection to encourage drug makers to participate in Compassionate Use programs. Right to Try was a pillar of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address, and the President is expected to sign this bill, bringing federal law in line with the 40 states that have their own Right to Try legislation.

Washington, D.C. – Consumers’ Research, founded in 1929, is the nation’s oldest consumer organization that seeks to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers. For more information, visit: and follow Consumers’ Research on Twitter at @ConsumersFirst.

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