Lindsay Boyd, policy director at the Beacon Center of Tennessee, discusses ‘Right to Try’ legislation that has been introduced in Tennessee and elsewhere, and already passed in five states. Under ‘Right to Try,’ patients with a terminal illness are able, with their doctor, obtain medicines that have passed the FDA’s phase one clinical trials for safety but haven’t yet passed phases two and three, which test the efficacy of new drugs.
Right to Try expands treatment options and would give Americans access to many drugs that have already been approved in Europe and elsewhere. It would expand and speed up the FDA’s current ‘compassionate use’ policy that allows patients access to drugs that have not yet been approved. The process for compassionate typically takes between 9 and 18 months, and requires about 100 hours of a doctors time, making approval for compassionate use an arduous and time-consuming process that many patients just can’t wait on.