“It’s My Life, and I Want the Chance to Save It”

(p. 18) LYONS, Colo. — Since May [2014], a string of states have passed laws that give critically ill patients the right to try medications that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Deemed “Right to Try” laws, they have passed quickly and often unanimously in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana and Arizona, bringing hope to patients like Larry Kutt, who lives in this small town at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Kutt, 65, has an advanced blood cancer and says his state’s law could help him gain access to a therapy that several pharmaceutical companies are testing. “It’s my life,” he said, “and I want the chance to save it.”
The laws do not seem to have helped anyone obtain experimental medicine, as the drug companies are not interested in supplying unapproved medications outside the supervision of the F.D.A. But that seems almost beside the point to the Goldwater Institute, the libertarian group behind legislative efforts to pass Right to Try laws. “The goal is for terminally ill patients to have choice when it comes to end-stage disease,” said Craig Handzlik, state policy coordinator for the Goldwater Institute, based in Arizona. “Right to Try is something that will help terminally ill people all over the country.”

For the full story, see:
JULIE TURKEWITZ. “Patients Seek ‘Right to Try’ New Drugs.” The New York Times, First Section (Sun., JAN. 11, 2015): 18.
(Note: the bracketed year is added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JAN. 10, 2015.)

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