The Proposed Federal ‘Right-To-Try’ Law Is Not The Answer For Critically Ill Patients

(By Jonathan Friedlaender for Health Affairs Blog, September 27, 2016)

Currently, patients have two main options to access experimental therapies that may treat their conditions but that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): enrolling in a clinical trial or applying to FDA’s expanded access (also known as compassionate use) program. But because FDA’s expanded access program has been viewed as cumbersome and overly restrictive, 31 states have passed “Right-To-Try” laws in the past two years. Based on model legislation created by the Goldwater Institute, a public policy think tank, right-to-try laws are intended to authorize use of experimental, not-yet-approved treatments for patients with advanced illness; prohibit sanctions of health care providers for providing experimental treatment; and clarify health insurers’ roles. In May, the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act of 2016, a companion to a House bill introduced in 2015, was introduced in the Senate. Continue reading article here……

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