Right To Try laws have been already adopted in 33 other states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The law was introduced in another 16 states this year. The national bipartisan effort to give terminally ill Americans access to investigational medications is being led by the Goldwater Institute. Americans for Prosperity – Kentucky led the in-state efforts to raise awareness of the need for this legislation.
“Millions of Americans will die this year from terminal illnesses for which there are treatments and cures in the FDA approval pipeline; but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Darcy Olsen, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. “We congratulate Senator Embry, and all of his colleagues, on their work to get promising treatments in the hands of people who need options today.”
About 40,000 women with breast cancer will hear from their doctor this year that there are no treatment options left. But there are 22 pioneering breast cancer treatments waiting for the FDA’s green light; some of them are already available and saving lives in Europe. The FDA has a process that allows people to ask permission to access investigational medicines, but only approximately 1,300 people a year receive help. Others die while waiting on their approval.
“Patients shouldn’t have to beg the federal government for permission to try to save their own lives. If you were on a sinking ship, would you pass on the only available lifeboat because the government hadn’t certified it yet? No. You’d say, put the lifeboat in the water. Right To Try gets the lifeboats in the water,” said Olsen.
Lebanon, Kentucky mother Natalie Wheatley wrote in the Louisville Courier Journal that the law will give families with terminally ill patients like hers hope.
Right To Try is limited to patients with a terminal disease that have exhausted all conventional treatment options and cannot enroll in a clinical trial. All medications available under the law must have successfully completed basic safety testing and be part of the FDA’s on-going approval process.