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Viewpoint
Health Care Policy and Law
March 2018

The Federal Right to Try Act of 2017—A Wrong Turn for Access to Investigational Drugs and the Path Forward

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Health, NYULH Working Group on Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access, New York, New York
  • 2Regulatory Science Program and James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 3NYU Langone Health, NYULH Working Group on Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access, New York, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(3):321-322. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.8167

In 2017, President Trump said that “one thing that’s always disturbed”1 him is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denies access to experimental drugs even “for a patient who’s terminal…[who] is not going to live more than four weeks [anyway.]”1 Fueled by emotionally charged anecdotes recirculated by libertarian political activists, 38 states have passed Right to Try laws. In 2017, the US Senate approved a bill that would create a national law (Box).2 As of December 2017, the US House of Representatives was considering the bill.

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