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October 5, 2014

(10/1/2014) The Michigan legislature today approved Right to Try legislation (SB991), which provides terminally ill patients access to potentially life-saving medications not yet fully approved by the FDA. The popular bill will now move to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) desk for signature. Michigan would become the fourth state behind Colorado, Missouri and Louisiana to enact the Right to Try law, which provides hope to terminal patients who have exhausted traditional treatment options.

“There is nothing worse than watching a loved one pass away before your eyes,” said Victor Riches, VP of External Affairs at the Goldwater Institute.  “Right to Try gives patients the ability to do everything in their power to try to save their own lives.”

Designed by the Goldwater Institute, the Right to Try Act enables terminally ill patients under the care of their physician and cooperating pharmaceutical companies to receive medicines that have passed the basic safety testing phase of the FDA’s drug approval process, but may still be years away from market approval.

More than 1,000,000 Americans die each year of terminal illness. Under the current FDA system, it takes over a decade to bring a single life-saving treatment to market, and fewer than three percent of the sickest patients are able to access medications through clinical trials. This means that thousands of Americans will die each year without access to potentially life saving medicines. For many terminally ill patients, experimental medications are their only hope.

The Goldwater Institute is working with lawmakers in additional states to pass Right to Try laws across the country in 2015. 


To schedule an interview with Victor Riches please contact Michael Kelley at the Goldwater Institute at (602) 633-8965 or If you are affiliated with a national network, the Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up at no cost, and can make Institute spokespeople available for live in-person interviews upon request.



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