The Right to Try Act passed the Judiciary Committee this week and had its second reading. The legislation permits the use of investigational drugs, biological products, or devices by certain eligible patients. Currently, a treatment has to go through the rigor of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process before it is made available for public use. The Right to Try Act is a piece of legislation from the Goldwater Institute that many state legislatures are currently considering in hopes of providing more patients access to treatments that may prolong their lives. Colorado was the first state to pass the policy into law last spring.
The legislation will allow terminally ill patients to have access to treatments that have only successfully completed phase one of the FDA clinical trial process. The patient must consult with his or her physician, consider all other FDA-approved treatment options, obtain a prescription or recommendation from the physician, and give informed consent for the use of the treatment before the patient can have access. The types of treatments made available are “investigational drug, biological product or device.” The bill clarifies that the manufacturer is under no obligation to provide the patient with the treatment or pay for the cost of the treatment. Insurance companies are also under no obligation to cover the costs of the investigational treatment. (S.F. 100)