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Will Dying People Get The Right to Try?

Will Dying People Get The Right to Try?
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Legislation, approved in the Senate, must now pass the House of Representatives. Action Alert!

Earlier this year, the “Right to Try” legislation introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) passed by unanimous consent in the Senate. It had a hearing last week in the House, and awaits approval.

As things stand now, FDA bureaucrats continue to throw roadblocks into the path of patients who desire access to experimental and potentially life-saving drugs, as the agency has been doing for years. This is yet another example of why we feel the agency works for Big Pharma more than for the American people.

Here’s how it works—or rather, doesn’t work—currently. Individual patients may apply for access to experimental treatments outside of a drug trial if they meet all three of the following criteria:

  • have a serious or life-threatening disease or condition;
  • have no other treatment options left; and
  • can persuade a qualified physician to deliver the treatment.

Under these circumstances, the FDA may, at its sole discretion, grant “compassionate use” of the new or unapproved medication. But the program is marred by a prohibitively cumbersome application and documentation process, which always makes it difficult and sometimes drags it out or otherwise makes it impossible. In addition, a physician cooperating with the patient may put his or her license at risk.  The agency can even revoke permission after it has been granted—and does.

The government has no business intervening in a patient’s life in this manner. Decisions that are made when a patient is terminally ill should be between the patient, his or her doctor, and his or her family—not FDA bureaucrats.

Action Alert! Write to your representative and urge him or her to support Right to Try legislation. Please send your message immediately.

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