Joining the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “Right to Try” law on May 22. Expected to be signed by President Trump, this new law lifts restrictions on terminally ill patients from trying potentially life-saving treatments that are still being tested in clinical trials. The Goldwater Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Arizona, has been a leader in promoting Right to Try both at the state and federal levels. Since 2014, 40 states have passed their own legislation, with the Goldwater Institute being responsible for creating the original policy on which these state laws are based.
“Today’s vote is a win for patients,” said Victor Riches, president & CEO of the Goldwater Institute. “Millions of Americans who have been told they are out of options and it’s time to get their affairs in order, are closer to having the opportunity for one last treatment, without having to get permission from the federal government first. Members of Congress came together to put patients first and we’re grateful for their support for this bipartisan, grassroots movement powered by real patients in all 50 states.”
Right to Try laws have already had an impact. For example, in Texas Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand has helped almost 100 patients thanks to having access to experimental treatments for advanced stage neuroendocrine cancer. Due to these treatments, patients who were given months to live are still alive a year later. The FDA recently fully approved the drug after a two-and-a-half-year wait.
The Goldwater Institute has attended several Lights, Camera, Liberty workshops since 2010, Think Tank Leadership Training in 2015, and was a Templeton Freedom Award Finalist for its Right to Try Initiative in 2016, receiving a $25,000 prize for the project.