“Right-to-try” advocates are gaining ground across the U.S., and over the course of three years have played a key role in getting legislation passed in 33 states to remove legal barriers, STAT reports.
The legislation aims to remove obstacles which blocked terminally ill patients from taking therapies which the Food and Drug Administration had not yet given the green light.
Although some physicians ethicists and regulatory bodies generally oppose the push, saying the laws could actually cause more harm than good for patients, they don’t often go public with their opposition.
“It’s extremely hard to articulate a position against this because it sounds like you’re not sympathetic to a patient’s plight,” NYU Longone Medical School senior adviser on law, ethics and policy Beth Roxland tells STAT.
Roxland previous worked with Johnson & Johnson, and added “right-to-try” laws in all 50 states could mean “our entire drug development system would fail … .”
Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Godshall, who had a previous experience trying an experimental procedure for multiple myeloma 11 years ago, has a “right-to-try” bill under consideration.
“I just don’t feel that other people that aren’t in the Legislature shouldn’t have the same right I had,” he said.