Dying for a chance to try to stay alive

Thursday, May 31, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Trump signs right to try billA bill signed into law this week gives power to patients facing a life-threatening illness, not the federal government, says the sponsor of the legislation in the U.S. Senate.

President Donald Trump signed the "Right to Try" Act l into law Wednesday, flanked by people who have pushed for the bill due to life-threatening illnesses in their families.

The purpose of the bill, says Sen. Ron Johnson, is to "empower patients and their families" when they are facing a terminal illness with no access to treatments not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"All you have to do," Johnson tells OneNewsNow, "is just meet with one ALS victim, one family of somebody who has incurable cancer or a disease, where we don't have cures. Trust me, these people would be happy to try something that might work because they have no other alternatives."

News outlet Bloomberg, meanwhile, claims Right to Try does not help patients and will actually hurt the FDA and drug makers if people with terminal conditions are able to access drugs and treatments not fully approved by the federal government.

Philly.com went so far as to say that Right to Try means right to be harmed by unproven treatments.

While she says everyone is free to have their own views, Naomi Lopez Bauman of the Goldwater Institute says people ought to look at the issue.

"This legislation provides patient protection that requires informed consent," she says. "It requires that a physician is making a recommendation for a treatment. So, in other words, an individual can't just go out there on their own and seek out a treatment. They have to be under a doctor's care."

Mary Vought, a Republican strategist whose daughter has cystic fibrosis, was among the parents on hand today for the bill signing ceremony featuring President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

"It was just so encouraging that this administration cares about the sickest among us," she tells OneNewsNow. "And just to hear stories of so many parents and caregivers, who have just been fighting for years for this legislation, it was just encouraging."

Following the bill signing this week, Sen. Johnson advises that he is currently communicating with the FDA to ensure the law is implemented and the "intent of the law is actually carried out." 

 

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