by Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;

Opponents of the Right to Try law passed last year were dead wrong to say the law “won’t give patients access to experimental drugs.” A brain cancer patient in California is putting their absurd contention to rest.

Right-to-try allows patients with apparently terminal illnesses to seek experimental drug treatments, even if those drugs have not been approved for that use by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Congress finally passed the bill last May, after a multiyear fight, and President Trump signed it into law.

Critics bizarrely claimed that guaranteeing the right-to-try somehow would be “ unethical.” They said the FDA already has procedures for patients without other options, and that “a federal right-to-try law will do nothing to make companies more likely to grant patients access to their experimental drugs and will only make patients more vulnerable to actors looking to profit from their desperation.”

But the very process of navigating the FDA’s bureaucratic hurdles can be daunting, not to mention too time-consuming for desperate patients to afford when they may be at death’s door. The argument against the heartless pharmaceutical companies, meanwhile, is nonsense. The companies of course want their products to save lives — and, if a new use can be found for their drug that provides a miracle cure, it is of course likely to bring them good publicity and perhaps a new avenue for sales.

On Jan. 9 the Goldwater Institute, for years one of the chief advocates for right-to-try legislation for the federal and state governments, released information about the California patient who is using the new federal law.

“The patient was diagnosed with recurrent glioblastoma, and FDA-approved therapies have been unsuccessful at treating this deadly and aggressive form of brain cancer,” Goldwater wrote. … [The full column is here.]

 

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