President Donald Trump announced an experimental drug law this week: allowing desperately sick patients to try experimental new medicines if they are willing to take the risk. He mentioned this potential law in his State of the Union address. This idea is known as “right to try”. He said, “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's time for the Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the 'right-to-try.'”
This is a chance for patients who are severely suffering, to be able to try new drugs that could possibly save their lives.
Obviously, this law is controversial. There are questions regarding if this law will actually help patients. This law has actually been passed in 38 states thus far. Daniel Carpenter, a professor at Harvard, runs a research project on drug regulation. He wrote a book on the history of the FDA and believes that the “right to try law” will potentially establish a “legal metaphor”. Carpenter says that the “right to try law” will portray having access to drugs as having a right just like having the right of free speech and reproductive freedom.
Most medical professionals, drug professionals, and politicians do not know if this law will change anything for patients. This will be a more trial and error situation, but it may be a potential way to help severely sick patients become more comfortable.
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