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‘Right-To-Try’ Laws On Experimental Drugs Stir Debate

By KHN Editors

June 24th, 2014, 1:00 PM

KHN’s Julie Rovner participated in a Google Hangout with PBS NewsHour on state “right-to-try” laws, first approved in Colorado, which allow terminally ill patients to try potentially life-saving, but unapproved drugs to treat their conditions. Watch the discussion below:

2 Responses to “‘Right-To-Try’ Laws On Experimental Drugs Stir Debate”

  1. My body, right? That’s the answer when women are depriving life to the unborn of America. Well, I would like to use my body as a vessel to develop life saving drugs. I guess the difference is a culture of death verses the culture of letting sick people live. Since babies in the womb are lucky to make it out alive; do they then get a choice to take life saving drugs. I guess not, because second time is the charm.

  2. Richard says:

    Right to beg? What’s that worth?

    Julie might have stressed that people already have the right to ask for drugs still in development, through the existing FDA pathway. They also are afforded protections that the state laws don’t seem to afford – like the review of safety information, review by an ethical board (the IRB) and informed consent so that patients really know what they’re getting.

    From this interview, it sounds like people have the same rights, but without protections. Is that better? I guess time will tell.

    But Julie didn’t touch on society’s right to have ethical testing of drugs in development that will tell them whether a drug really works, and how it should be managed. If everyone starts to believe that drugs in development are inherently BETTER (now, new and IMPROVED is the American advertising mantra), why would anyone consider a clinical trial at all? Just ask the company for its drug and reap the benefits that society would otherwise deny you, even though it’s “we the people,” the society at large that gains when we know what works, what doesn’t, and whether the downsides of the drug outweigh the potential benefits to patients.