Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

Right to Try Passes House with Rep. McSally Support

March 21, 2018
Press Release
Helps Right to Try Legislation Pass the House Allowing the Terminally Ill to Voluntarily Access Alternative Medication

WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Martha McSally to allow terminally ill patients that have exhausted all other options to access medications that have passed basic Food and Drug Administration safety protocols but are still being tested in extensive clinical trials. The bill does not require participation and it does not impose a mandate on anyone. Right to Try legislation has already become law in 38 states, and Arizona’s 2014 ballot initiative passed with 80% of the popular vote. 

“Patients should be the ones making decisions about the treatment they receive—not the government. This legislation ensures that we allow individuals every opportunity to save their own life. It’s clear that Arizona, and the nation, overwhelmingly supports this legislation from both sides of the aisle—and President Trump urged Congress to take action on this during his State of the Union address. Let’s give the terminally ill a fighting chance and the hope they deserve. I applaud the Goldwater Institute for its effective efforts to promote this cause both in Arizona and around the country so patients can seek a cure right here at home,” said Congresswoman McSally

Right to Try specifically establishes a robust informed consent to access unapproved drugs, and provides safeguards for patients and liability protections for pharmaceutical companies. For example, alternative treatments cannot be the subject of a clinical hold and or be produced by manufacturers who are purposefully misbranding or mislabeling drugs. Pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, sponsors, physicians, clinical investigators, and hospitals that participate will be protected from liability—barring negligence and misconduct.

For years, the Goldwater Institute has been at the forefront of the national effort to pass right to try legislation at the state and national level. In order for existing state laws to have meaningful impact, a federal law is necessary because many drug companies are waiting to participate until they know whether the federal government supports the program.