Tag Archives: Right to Try

Oregon Enacts “Right to Try” Law Letting Dying Patients Try Experimental Treatments

Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown signed the Oregon Right To Try Act into law last week, thus allowing doctors to prescribe experimental medications and treatments to terminally ill patients. Under the new law, dying patients no longer have to lobby for an exemption from the Food and Drug Administration in order to try medications that are still being tested and have not yet obtained FDA approval.

People fighting for their lives shouldn’t have to fight the government too. Any person who wants to access a promising investigational treatment when they have exhausted standard treatment protocols should have the right to do that,” said Goldwater Institute president Darcy Olsen in comments to KTVZ-TV.

The Goldwater Institute has been pushing for the enactment of “right to try” laws in states across the U.S. with great success. “To say that Right To Try is sweeping the country may be an understatement. In little more than one year the law has been adopted by 24 states,” said Olsen.

The Chicago Tribune notes that Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner just signed similar legislation into law on August 5.

Oregon joins Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming in enacting a law allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental treatments.

According to PBS, Colorado became the first U.S. state to enact such a law in May of 2014.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey praised the sudden rise of “right to try” legislation and criticized FDA policies that complicate terminally ill patients’ ability to try experimental drugs. “FDA regulations that would let somebody die rather than try have got to be some of the most inhumane policies the federal government has ever conceived. Every state should nullify these FDA rules,” said Maharrey.

Twelve additional U.S. states are considering “right to try” bills this year.

‘Right to Try’ bill in Oklahoma moves forward

Legislation has been approved by the Oklahoma House committee which would allow terminally ill patients to have access to experimental medications which are not yet available to the public.

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D) is the author of the Oklahoma version of the Right to Try bill. Morrissette has said, according to the AP, this bill can give new hope to terminally ill patients “that one of these experimental drugs will hit the mark.”

The House Public Health Committee voted 10-0 on Tuesday in favor of pushing the bill forward for consideration by the full House. A number of other states, such as Arizona, Colorado, and Louisiana already have similar bills in place.

The Daily Journal reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already allows terminally ill patients to seek to undergo experimental medications. However, it usually takes hundreds of hours to complete the paperwork and for the paperwork to make its way through the proper government channels before it is approved. Many terminally ill patients die while waiting to receive government approval to undergo these new medical treatments.

Christina Sandefur is an attorney for the Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy group, and she said, “These are people whose days, hours, even minutes may be numbered.”

There would be some requirements when it comes to receiving the experimental medications even if the bill were to pass.

One requirement is a terminally ill patients doctor must approve of the usage of the medication before moving forward. The patient in question would also have to acknowledge the medication they would be receiving poses potential risks o their health and well-being. The company who develops the drug must also be willing to make the medication available to the patient.

The bill would also allow pharmaceutical companies to deploy experimental treatment devices in the same manner as the experimental medications.

The full bill can be read here.