House to Vote Tuesday on 'Right to Try' Drug Legislation

House to vote Tuesday on 'right to try' drug bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said this was not the end, and assured they will try to pass it again.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence backed the measure.

Key patient groups and senior Democrats pushed back, however, saying the FDA already has an "expanded-access" program for terminally ill patients that approves almost all requests. Since the Senate approved similar legislation last August, Republicans could revisit the legislation under rules that would require only a simple majority for passage, perhaps after reworking the measure.

Democrats say the measure would achieve little since the federal Food and Drug Administration already approves almost all requests it receives for an existing program that lets patients use unproven treatments.

Legislation that would enable terminally ill patients to use unproven, investigational drugs will go before the House Tuesday for a vote, according to The Hill.

"We also believe patients with terminal conditions, terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could potentially save their lives".

Under the new bill, the FDA would be notified if a patient tries a new treatment, and it would collect data on poor outcomes.

Republicans brought patients with fatal diseases to the House chamber, including Jordan McLinn, 8, of Indianapolis, a muscular dystrophy sufferer who sat beside Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. They said the proposal would create risks by rolling back the FDA's oversight role in the process and noted that most experimental drugs don't work.

"FDA provides helpful information about dosing, or safety monitoring, or something that should be disclosed", she said.

Critics said the measure misleadingly suggests the FDA is the bottleneck to providing the experimental treatments.

Companies would be required to post, online, how many treatment requests they get and whether patients fared poorly, so terminally ill patients should have a sense of whether it's worth requesting a medicine from the supplier.

The House version of the legislation gives further clarification on what type of patients can request the non-FDA approved drugs, defining patients as those who will be likely to die "within a matter of months" or those who would be likely to face a "severely premature death". It had passed the Senate previous year with unanimous consent. Its fate is uncertain because it's opposed by top Democrats and scores of patients' groups.

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