On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed Sen. Ron Johnson’s, R-Wisc., “Right to Try” bill, which gives terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that have not yet received FDA approval. The bill protects manufacturers and prescribers from potential lawsuits for providing experimental drugs to patients.
“By passing the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 today, the Senate took a strong stand in support of the millions of Americans and their families suffering from terminal illnesses,” Johnson said in a statement.
President Trump has been a vocal supporter of “right to try laws,” implying that under his leadership, the FDA would allow patients more freedom in their choices of treatment.
“One thing that’s always disturbed me: They come up with a new drug for a patient who’s terminal, and the FDA says we can’t … approve the drug, because we don’t want to hurt the patient,” Trump said. “But the patient is not going to live more than four weeks, [anyway]. So, we’re going to be changing a lot of the rules.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, terminally ill patients have a newfound hope in President Trump.
“Terminally ill patients are fortunate to have a compassionate champion in President Trump,” Josh Schisler, founder and president of Freedom of Treatment said in an email. “Americans fighting for their lives don’t have decades to wait for the FDA to approve new treatments.”
Laura McLinn, the mother of six-year-old Jordan McLinn, whose name is included in Johnson’s bill’s title, is grateful for the efforts. Jordan suffers from a deadly form of muscular dystrophy. “To hear President Trump talk about the importance of lowering drug costs and helping terminally ill patients access drugs more quickly was probably one of the best things I’ve heard in two years. And I believe if anyone can make that happen … he can.”
“It’s a good feeling when everything you’ve worked for for so long is recognized as being important,” Laura McLinn told the Free Beacon. “And for it to be recognized by the president of the United States…wow.”
Vice President Pence signed “Right to Try” into law as Governor after the legislation unanimously passed the Indiana legislature.