Trump Backs Bill That Would Expand Access to Experimental Drugs

Feb 21, 2018

President Trump has signaled his support for a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to quickly gain access to experimental drugs.

The bill, called “Right to Try” was passed by the Senate in August and is now making its way through Congressional channels where it is likely to be amended. For now, however, the bill would let patients and pharmaceutical developers bypass the FDA’s current clinical trials process for last-ditch efforts to treat illnesses with new drugs.

A swath of prominent Republicans and conservatives have joined forces to support the bill, including the Koch brothers.

But the bill is also facing stiff resistance from several patient advocate groups who say that that the bill will allow drugmakers to exploit desperate patients and sell them pricey and potentially dangerous treatments.

Many argue that the FDA’s current approval process for treating terminally ill patients with experimental drugs, which has been streamlined in recent years, already provides patients fast access to the medications while keeping needed safety safeguards in place. FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, has also expressed concerns with the bill, but has been working with lawmakers on the bill’s wording.  

Read the full CNBC report.