Seeking the Right to Try

Laws allowing terminal patients to try drugs not approved by the FDA have passed in five states, but experts question their efficacy.

Some states are making the process of gaining access to medications still being tested easier, passing laws that allow terminally ill patients access to drugs that have not been approved by the government. In Arizona, such a provision quietly won approval during the midterm elections.

This type of measure—passed also in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri—is known as a "right to try" statute. It allows dying patients to request access to treatment that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that reviews testing by drug companies to decide whether medications are safe and effective. The laws allow doctors, hospitals and manufacturers to bypass the FDA and protect them from prosecution, even if they request medication from a drugmaker in another state.

Patients and their advocates are delighted they could have access to potentially lifesaving treatments, while some say the law is more symbolic than effective.

Read the full story:

Source: US News