News Headlines Article

More States Adopt Laws To Ease Access To Experimental Treatments
National Public Radio

On Election Day, Arizona voters approved a referendum that allows terminally ill patients to receive treatment with drugs and devices that haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Arizona became the fifth state to approve a so-called right-to-try law this year.

Supporters say the laws give patients faster access to experimental, potentially life-saving therapies than the FDA’s existing approach, often referred to as “expanded access” or “compassionate use.”

But critics of the state laws charge that they’re feel-good measures that don’t address some of the real reasons patients don’t receive experimental treatments in the first place.

Nevertheless, legislatures in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri also passed right-to-try laws this year as part of a nationwide effort spearheaded by the conservative Goldwater Institute, which hopes to get right-to-try laws on the books in all 50 states.