Dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental drugs risks harming patients’ health

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It’s a disaster in the making…it’s actually an approach that could do more harm than good for people who seemingly have “nothing left to lose.” I’m also not sure why such a law is needed, since people like me already have access to experimental therapies

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Christopher Robertson and Kelly McBride Folkers write, “Despite the policy’s broad support, it has yet to help a single patient in Arizona obtain an experimental drug that they couldn’t have gotten before. Thirty-seven other states have also passed right to try bills, but likewise have seen little real impact for patients.”

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Stacey Lee, an assistant professor at JHU’s Carey Business School, suggests a more transparent process for patients

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If you were dying, surely you would grasp at any chance medicine might offer you. Recently, there has been a lot of effort at the state and federal levels to try to increase patient access to experimental drugs. The approach has been to cut the FDA out of what is known as “compassionate use”

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The movement has been fueled in no small part by the anti-regulatory sentiment that propelled Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency and by the explicit support of Vice President Mike Pence

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In the past three years, 33 U.S. states have passed laws aimed at helping dying people get easier access to experimental treatments. Supporters say these patients are just looking for the “right to try” these treatments. Such laws may sound compassionate, but medical ethicists warn they pose worrisome risks to the health and finances of vulnerable patients

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‘Right to Try’ Is a Sham

February 14, 2017

Richard Plotkin writes: “Congress is considering “Right to Try” (RTT) bills related to the use of unapproved medical products by patients diagnosed with a terminal illness. In essence, these bills seek to remove the use of experimental medical products outside of clinical trials from the oversight of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on the false claim that the FDA moves too slowly….”

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