The Right to Try Movement, founded and championed by the Goldwater Institute, is in the news daily and gaining significant steam since its inception in 2015. Case in point, and recently announced at the RNC, the 2016 GOP Party platform includes support for this potentially life-saving legislation.
Since the official launch of the righttotry.org website, June 29, 2015, national support has been drawn from concerned individuals, legislators, and terminally ill patients and their families to get behind the movement in the attempt to pass the law in all 50 states.
The Right to Try law enables patients early access to experimental medicines that have passed the initial (Phase 1) FDA approval process, but are far from the often 10 to 15 years required to reach full FDA approval. Only a fraction (3%) of the thousands of patients a year who receive a terminal diagnosis are made aware, or actually able to qualify for, FDA drug trials.
According to Darsey Olsen, Goldwater president and author of the book Right to Try, there are countless examples of patients whose lives ended before obtaining the most advanced and necessary treatment to potentially save their lives. This is due to the long turnaround on requests to the FDA in cases where an appropriate drug is located and prescribed.
Olsen states, “If a physician says something is indicated for you (patient), then you should have the right to take it without asking the government for permission”. This was in reaction to the case of Andrea Sloan, a victim of Ovarian cancer, who passed away before being able to take advantage of a treatment that had been recommended by her doctor.
So far, according to righttotry.org, 31 states have adopted Right to Try, with 19 additional states considering adopting the legislation in 2016.