Heartland Institute Experts Applaud Congress Passing ‘Right to Try’ Law for Prescription Drugs

Published May 22, 2018

Today the U.S. Congress passed the Right to Try Act (S. 204) on a bipartisan basis (250-169), which President Trump is expected to soon sign into law. This legislation would allow patients access to drugs and treatments that have passed the first phase of trials supervised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Heartland Institute supports this reform and has a plan to provide even greater access to life-saving drugs called Free To Choose Medicine.

The following statements from health care experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“As President Trump noted in his State of the Union address, ‘people who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure.’ Now, at long last, American patients and their families can have hope that a life-saving drug will no longer be denied to them because of bureaucratic barriers. They will no longer be barred from trying to save their lives.

“Sen. Ron Johnson, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb deserve credit for not giving up and getting this bill to the president’s desk. While savoring this victory, we must recognize this is just the first step in expanding health care freedom and creating even more opportunities for all Americans to take the medicines they think can improve and save their lives.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“For years, our broken drug-approval process forced patients with terminal illnesses to wait years or longer before they could access new and lifesaving medication. Today’s vote shows lawmakers are committed to providing vulnerable patients a critical lifeline to extend and improve their lives.

“Seriously ill patients have new hope that breakthrough treatments in the FDA approval pipeline will be available for them as they fight for their lives. Future FDA reforms should include adopting both state-of-the-art drug approval processes like those in Japan, as well as the resulting innovative, affordable drugs and therapies.”

Kurt Hellmann
Campaign Manager, Free to Choose Medicine
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]