May 11, 2018
President Donald Trump addressed the nation today on the issue of prescription drug prices, but before he began his remarks, he called out a critically important issue: Right to Try, a law which would give life-saving hope to terminally ill patients, but is currently pending action from Congress.
At the onset of his speech in the White House Rose Garden, President Trump greeted Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb and asked, “Right to Try is happening, right? You have that moving? Right to Try? So important.”
Right to Try is a policy that protects the right of terminally ill patients to try promising new treatments that are being safely used in clinical trials but are not yet widely available. Unfortunately, FDA red tape and government regulations restrict access to promising new treatments, and for those who do get access, it’s often too late.
It’s not the first time that President Trump has highlighted the importance of making Right to Try the law of the land. In his 2018 State of the Union address, President Trump endorsed the policy and called for Congress to act:
We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.
People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”
Congress has taken steps to enact Right to Try, however, because the House and Senate passed different versions of the law, additional steps need to be taken before the legislation makes it to the President’s desk for signature.
In addition to the dozens of newspapers that have endorsed Right to Try, including USA Today and Wall Street Journal, dozens of patient advocacy groups have endorsed Right to Try. And just last month, Nebraska became the 40th state to pass the law.