by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
What would you think if you were terminally ill and being denied the right to try an experimental drug that might save your life? That is the case now, but it could change. The Washington Examiner reports the U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a Tuesday vote on legislation known as “Right To Try.”
The legislation has the support of President Trump, who called on Congress to pass the bill during his State of the Union address, and Vice President Mike Pence, who signed an Indiana bill into law when he was governor.
The policy, referred to as “Right to Try,” has been passed in at least 38 states, but the laws are not allowed to circumvent federal law that says drugs must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they can be given to patients. Under the bill, patients would be able to request access to medicines as long as they had passed the first phase of scientific review, which determines whether a medication is safe for people but not whether it works. Drug companies would not be required to provide the drugs to patients who request them.
Among the proponents of “Right to Try” is the Goldwater Institute. In 2016, Goldwater’s Christina Sandefur spoke before JLF’s Shaftesbury Society about “Right to Try.”