by Mike Brownfield 

May 15, 2018

Forty states—enough to amend the Constitution—have enacted the Right to Try, a Goldwater Institute-inspired law 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.

Support for the law is broad-based and far-reaching. In April, Nebraska became the 40th state to adopt the law since 2014, passing with bipartisan support. A federal Right to Try law passed the U.S. Senate unanimously in August; a separate Right to Try law passed the U.S. House in March. And in May, President Donald Trump again highlighted the importance of the policy at a federal level. And dozens of newspapers have endorsed Right to Try, including USA Today and Wall Street Journal, along with dozens of patient advocacy groups.

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. So the question for 2018 is: When will Congress follow the lead of 40 states, hear the cries of their constituents, look to the support of editorial boards, and follow the president’s call-to-action, and finally take action to make Right to Try the law of the land?

Mike Brownfield is Communications Director for the Goldwater Institute.