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Arizona Voters Pass “Right To Try” For Terminally Ill Patients

November 13, 2014

Phoenix (11/5/2014)—Tonight Arizona voters passed Proposition 303, a state ballot measure giving terminally ill patients the right to try investigational medicines that have passed the first phase of FDA approval but still may be years away from reaching pharmacy shelves.

“Terminally ill people don’t have time to wait for new drugs to make their way through the decade-long approval process. Prop 303 lets patients work directly with their doctors to access promising investigational medicines now,” said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute.

Right to Try is already law in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri, where it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in all four states. Arizona is the first state to pass the law by voter initiative. The Goldwater Institute drafted Prop 303 and is leading the nationwide effort.

The FDA has a process that allows people to seek permission to access investigational medicines. This “Compassionate Use” process takes hundreds of hours of paperwork and time to navigate. While many people ultimately receive FDA permission, there are dozens of documented cases of people dying while waiting on their approval.

“Americans shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to try to save their own lives,” said Olsen. “They should be able to work with their doctors directly to decide what potential treatments they are willing to try.”

Right To Try has been featured on CNN, Fox News, Good Morning America, NPR’s Diane Rehm show, and endorsed by several newspapers around the country, including the USA Today.



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