A bill ANH helped write and pass may help get experimental treatments to COVID-19 patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has medical professionals scrambling to see what treatments they can offer patients. The latest estimates are that a vaccine is at least a year away. The World Health Organization has identified one drug that may offer some hope: an experimental drug called Remdesivir. The drug was effective against viral infections in the laboratory and in animal experiments but failed in an Ebola trial. It is currently being tested on the coronavirus in China and the US, among other places.
The FDA has approved the use of Remdesivir for 250 seriously ill patients under the “compassionate use” program. During a news conference, President Trump suggested utilizing another pathway to get experimental drugs, Right to Try, which was created by the passage of legislation ANH members supported in 2018. In fact, ANH-USA helped write the original form of this bill a number of years ago. Right to Try allows patients diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses who have exhausted all other treatment options and who are unable to participate in clinical trials to access unapproved treatments. The bill removed a lot of FDA bureaucracy that previously stood in patients’ way.
We hope patients utilize this improved program to get treatments that can give them some hope in difficult times.