Lewis votes for patients to have the Right to Try
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Right to Try Act, of which he is a cosponsor. Unfortunately, the majority of the Democrat caucus denied this bill the opportunity to pass under suspension in the House:
“Families in the Second District and across the country deserve access to potentially life-saving medications as their loved ones struggle with life-threatening illnesses. When all other resources have been exhausted, I believe that patients should be able to have expanded access to new drugs that have passed the FDA’s initial rounds of safety and effectiveness tests. When there’s nowhere else to turn, we have to take every chance to save a life.”
Right to Try gives patients a chance to receive treatments that haven’t yet completed the years-long FDA approval process. These drugs have passed safety tests and offer benefits that outweigh the risks for the terminally ill. Right to Try is law in 38 states, including Minnesota, and this bill would make sure that the FDA respects state law while maintaining safeguards, such as physician certification.
The bill would let patients gain access to a drug that has gone through the first of three phases of clinical trials. This bill further defines which patients can request access to an experimental drug. To be eligible, a patient must have a disease or a condition with a ‘reasonable likelihood that death will occur within a matter of months’.