Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
The Right to Try bill creates a program that is not as good as the existing FDA “Expanded Access” program, which has approved 99% of requests they received.
- FDA’s Expanded Access program makes sure that there is some evidence that the experimental drug is safe and effective. Most of the drugs that go to patients through this program are eventually approved by the FDA.
- Lowering the standards to drugs that completed “Phase 1 clinical trials” means that 85% of the drugs will never be proven safe and effective.
- When standards are that low, desperate patients can die sooner and more painfully than they would have otherwise.
- FDA physicians are available 24 hours a day to approve any emergency Expanded Access requests that the agency receives. They usually grant emergency requests immediately over the phone and non-emergency requests in an average of 4 days
- Pharmaceutical companies may choose to deny patients access to experimental drugs if there is not enough of the drug available or they are concerned about dangerous side effects. When a patient is denied access to an experimental treatment, it is almost always because the company has said no, not the FDA.
- State “right to try” laws do not give patients a “right” to try and have done little to expand access to investigational treatments. There is no evidence that anyone has obtained an investigational treatment via these laws that couldn’t have been obtained through FDA’s expanded access program.
- Right to try laws do not require companies to provide patients access to an experimental treatment. They only give the right to request the treatment from the company. Patients already have that right.
- The bills would weaken FDA’s ability to oversee dangerous side effects from the use of an experimental drug while protecting companies from law suits if the drugs are more harmful than the patients were informed.