August 13, 2018 | JAMA

Promoting Patient Interests in Implementing the Federal Right to Try Act


Holly Fernandez Lynch, Patricia J. Zettler, Ameet Sarpatwari

JAMA. Published online August 13, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9880

On May 30, 2018, President Trump signed into law the federal Right to Try Act of 2017,1 providing patients with life-threatening conditions a pathway to access investigational drugs without authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ethicists, physicians, and patient groups have raised concerns about this type of legislation at the state and national levels given its implications for patients and the FDA’s public health mission.2,3 Now that “Right to Try” has become federal law, however, there is an opportunity to clarify statutory ambiguities that may help minimize the law’s potential to cause harm and advance its goal of encouraging companies to provide preapproval access to investigational drugs.

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