United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a major drug bill called “Right to Try” for terminally ill patients, allowing them to go for experimental medical treatments, which is not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, the bill does not mandate that whether the unapproved drugs asked by the patients are given access by the drug makers or not, The Hill reported.
Trump, who signed the bill at the White House and was surrounded by terminally ill patients said, “Thousands of terminally ill Americans will finally have hope, and the fighting chance, and I think it’s going to better than a chance, that they will be cured, they will be helped, and be able to be with their families for a long time, or maybe just for a longer time.”
The bill says that patients only need an approval of their doctors and drug manufacturer to access the “experimental” drugs.
Many American public health groups and Democrats are against the Right to Try bill, saying the life of the patients could be put in danger.
“FDA oversight of access to experimental treatments exists for a reason – it protects patients from potential snake oil salesmen or from experimental treatments that might do more harm than good,” said Republican’s Frank Pallone Jr., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
However, those in favour of the bill have lauded it, saying it will help terminally ill patients to have new treatment opportunities.
“While a long time coming, today is a monumental win for patients desperately seeking the ‘right to try’ investigational treatments and therapies,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden.
“With ‘right to try’ being the law of the land, we are confident that the Trump Administration, and FDA Commissioner [Scott] Gottlieb, will take both congressional intent and the safety of patients into consideration when implementing this important law,” said health subcommittee chairman Michael Burgess.
It is pertinent to note that during the State of the Union (SOTU) address, Trump had urged the Congress to pass the bill in the interest of the terminally ill patients and that they should have greater access to experimental treatment.