Feb 27, 2018

Wisconsin Becomes 39th State To Pass Right To Try Legislation

Post by Freedom Partners

Wisconsin, last week, became the 39th state to pass Right to Try legislation and only awaits Governor Scott Walker’s signature before becoming law. AP reports:

“The state Assembly passed the so-called “right to try” … The proposal would allow certain patients to be prescribed drugs that have yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

“Supporters say too many patients can’t get into clinical trials and it takes the FDA too long to approve experimental drugs that could help seriously ill patients.”

President Trump and Vice President Pence have encouraged lawmakers to pass federal Right to Try legislation to afford the same benefits to all Americans. In last month’s State of the Union address, President Trump stated:

“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the right to try.”

Despite now 39 states passing their own Right to Try legislation, the lack of clarity at the federal level serves as a barrier to patients receiving treatment – even in those states. Thanks in large part to Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, Right to Try legislation already passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan consent. In the House, Representatives Biggs and Fitzpatrick have introduced similar legislation that has earned the support of 86 co-sponsors.

This important bipartisan legislation is awaiting passage by the House Energy and Commerce Committee before it can be voted on in the House. Freedom Partners, working with Americans for Prosperity, sent a letter to Representative Greg Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to urge him to act on Right to Try. Freedom Partners also issued a memo responding to concerns that Right to Try legislation is giving “false hope” to terminally ill patients and would “interfere” with state Right to Try legislation, in addition to a web video and digital ads urging Congress to act on federal Right to Try legislation.