Trump Signs Federal Right to Try Legislation

President Donald Trump has signed the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. This bill will allow terminally ill people to try experimental drugs and treatments that have not been formally approved the Food and Drugs Administration and for which full clinical trials have not been done.

Terminally ill individuals or their families often wish to try novel treatments that haven’t been fully vetted in the hopes it will lead to an improvement in their conditions. These people don’t have time to wait for FDA approval and getting into a clinical trial may not be the right solution either. Right to Try legislation aims to make it easier for patients, like Trickett Wendler, to try the newest medicine and procedures. Trickett Wendler was a Wisconsin woman who passed away after a battle with ALS, and for whom the bill (introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin) was named.

President Trump has followed the lead of 40 states with their own Right to Try laws. The new law aims to improve 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. The law will also limit the liability of drug makers from adverse outcomes resulting from experimental treatments.

Consumers’ Research supports the right of terminally ill patients to try experimental and innovative drugs and treatments. The passage of federal legislation should smooth the road for patients to access treatments that may help.

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