Trump Comes to the Rescue of the Terminally Ill by Signing Right to Try Act
Last week on Wednesday, President Donald Trump put pen to paper in a sensational move aimed at helping terminally ill patients get access to drug treatments yet to be fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The bill is expected to give hope to terminally ill patients since they will be able to access drug treatments that remain stagnated in clinical trials. Notably, the drug treatments need to have passed Phase 1 of the Food and Drug Administration‘s approval process, but, not yet approved by the FDA. Those opposed to the bill made arguments that even after implementation, they don’t expect the legislation to change much on the ground. There are those who expect the bill to have a detrimental effect on how the FDA safeguards public health.
However Trump shared that he believes “hundreds of thousands” could be saved once the new legislation comes into effect. He shared that, “With the passage of this bill, Americans will be able to seek cures,” Trump said adding they will finally be given the right to try. “I would not be here today without the tireless efforts of dedicated members of Congress.” The specific members of Congress he was referring to are Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas. He cited that thanks to their efforts, countless American lives would be saved.
All through, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been open supporters of passing the measure. Proponents now say that the move gives patients hope they would likely not have. Just last week, the House of Representatives approved the bill, which was the same version passed by the Senate last August.
Those opposed to the measure have openly expressed that they believe the new law is likely to undermine the FDA’s authority to regulate drugs. Prior to the move, the agency actively ran an “expanded access” program where the seriously ill patients apply to access a number of experimental treatments.
According to Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner, the agency grants about 99% of these requests. Gottlieb released a statement last Wednesday saying that the FDA was ready to implement the “right-to-try” legislation.
Before putting pen to paper on the bill, President Trump had promised during his State of the Union address in January. At present, the legislation is law in 38 states in the country. People can now easily conduct experimental procedures when they are too sick for clinical trials.
Trump expressed his belief that countless patients without the time to access the right kind of medication can now access experimental treatments to treat or cure their conditions. He shared that existing FDA guidelines set to give the FDA discretion to approve applications for experimental treatments didn’t go far enough in helping patients with limited time left on earth.
Critics have harshly questioned the wisdom of cutting the FDA out of the math. They question whether patients will be able to access experimental drugs because pharmaceutical companies will need to sign off on instances of exceptions.
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