The Trump administration argues that there are too many hurdles for terminally ill patients to obtain experimental drugs that haven’t won FDA approval. The Right to Try bill is being pushed in both the House and Senate, and Trump’s backing of it is in line with his statements that the FDA approval process is too slow, according to the Wall Street Journal.
When the FDA came under fire three decades ago for not approving experimental drugs fast enough during the height of the AIDS crisis, the agency responded by relaxing approval processes for the terminally ill under its compassionate use program. In response to the Right to Try push, the FDA pointed out that it received 1,200 requests for approval of such drugs (mostly for cancer) in 2015 and denied only 10 of them.
A spokesperson with the conservative Goldwater Institute argues that that just goes to show how daunting laypeople find it to seek permission to use experimental drugs. The spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal: “There is no possible way that only [about] 1,000 people per year want to try to save their own lives. We just fundamentally do not believe that you should have to apply to the government for permission to try to save your own life.”
Source: Wall Street Journal