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Is ‘Right-to-try’ bill right?

The bill would exempt doctors and drug companies from liability of prescribing and supplying experimental drugs
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image courtesy: Scienceblogs

'Right-to-try' is being debated fiercely in US as the American Congress is considering a bill on the topic. It is a practice allowing patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses to use drugs that are yet to be approved and are out of clinical trials, but have passed the first clinical test of safety. However, usage of even such drugs also requires Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) approval. The bill in the US Congress however, seeks to eliminate this FDA approval and monitoring of the process.

The Trump administration has supported the bill and this is termed by many as a part of the administration's passion for deregulation. In all 33 states have already passed 'Right-to-try' laws. Efforts of Goldwater institute, a libertarian non-profit organisation that drafted the model law, have led to passing of the laws in the states. In general, overall anti-regulatory environment in the society appears to have provided strength to the 'Right-to-try' moment.

Those supporting the bill claim that as it is the terminally ill patients have no hope for cure from the regular drugs that are given to them. So, why not allow them to try new drugs though it is little risky proposition as all stages of clinical trials are not completed yet. In the process of receiving approval after completing all phases of trials, the drug will be available after long time. But if allowed it to use before that it may be successful in some cases and save life to terminally ill patient.



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