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Congress May Order the FDA to Help Dying Patients


An important bill has passed the Senate. It needs our support in the House. Action alert!

Earlier this month, the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act of 2017 passed the Senate and now moves to the House.

The bill expands access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients who have exhausted all other treatment options. It also frees drug companies from liability where trial medications are provided.

This is a much-needed reform that ANH-USA has supported for a number of years. As we’ve pointed out, FDA bureaucrats have thrown roadblocks into the path of patients who desire access to experimental and potentially life-saving drugs. The agency’s “compassionate use” program is marred by a cumbersome application and documentation process, and the agency often delays or blocks approval. It can even revoke permission after it has been granted—and does. 

Patients and their families who desire access to experimental drugs are faced with incredibly difficult life and death decisions. Such decisions should be between a patient and his or her doctor, not with the FDA standing in the way. This legislation deserves our support.

Action Alert! Write to your member of Congress and urge him or her to support the federal Right to Try bill. Please send your message immediately.

  • Carol Jackson

    I’ve always thought fast tracking drugs was just a way for Pharma to make more money even on drugs that haven’t been proven to be effective. I don’t think we want our insurance premiums to pay for drugs that haven’t been thoroughly studied, do we?

  • patgo

    “Life-saving drug” is an oxymoron. People should be able to get whatever they think will help, but I can’t go along with such an oxymoron. Drugs are poison, and they kill.

    • Centurion

      Beside that I read some time ago that 80% of all drugs do NOT work on 80% of the population. That’s damn poor. Everyone should study up on natural and holistic medications. If everyone did this big pharma would go down.

      • patgo

        As I said, in general, drugs are poison. We avoid them at all costs. We were forced into them behind our backs and against our will, and it has had horrendous consequences. I don’t just study up on natural and holistic medications (so-called; I deny they are medications). I USE them.

  • Centurion

    “It also frees drug companies from liability …”. Drug companies are already shielded from lawsuits. Why do we need another law to shield them more?

  • TeeJae

    All of you commenters are missing the point. Did you even read the article? These are potentially life-saving drugs for terminal patients who have nothing to lose. I’ll put it another way: These people are dying. If there’s a drug that COULD save their life, why not try it? Because it might not be safe? Because it might not be effective? Doesn’t matter; they’re dying anyway.

    Yes, of course they should try all the natural and alternative methods first. But this could be a last resort, and their last hope, if nothing else works.

    • Belinda Eastmond

      And if the drug doesn’t help them, it’s more information in the database on that drug, that will help eventually to determine when it will and when it won’t help a dying patient.

  • fahdutnik

    Since my 101 yr old sister died yesterday, this is important to me. She suffered for a very long time.