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Oregon Becomes 24th State to Allow Terminally Ill to Access Investigational Medications

August 14, 2015

Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown has House Bill 2300, the Oregon Right To Try Act, into law. The Right To Try Act allows doctors to prescribe treatments to the terminally ill that are being used in clinical trials but have not yet been fully approved by the FDA. Right To Try provides access to potentially life-saving treatments years before patients would normally be able to access them.

The Oregon Right To Try Act passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill was sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers led by Dr. Knute Buehler, Rep. Mitch Greenlick and Sen. Laurie Monnes-Anderson. Steve Buckstein of the Cascade Policy Institute played an integral part in the passage of this bill.

“To say that Right To Try is sweeping the country may be an understatement. In little more than one year the law has been adopted by 24 states,” said Darcy Olsen, the president of the Goldwater Institute, the organization leading the national, bipartisan Right To Try effort. “Americans are united in the belief that when your mortality hangs in the balance, you should have the right to try to save your life.”

Right To Try laws are already in place in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. The law has been introduced in 12 additional states this year.

“People fighting for their lives shouldn’t have to fight the government too. Any person who wants to access a promising investigational treatment when they have exhausted standard treatment protocols should have the right to do that,” said Olsen.

Diego Morris, a thirteen-year-old cancer survivor from Arizona, visited Oregon lawmakers to share his story and explain how Right To Try would have helped him. Diego exhausted all FDA-approved options for treatment and his family made the decision to move to England so he could access a treatment that has been in use there for years, but is still under consideration in the United States. Having access to this treatment literally saved Diego’s life.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have both reported that the Right To Try movement is prompting long overdue changes at the FDA.

Right To Try is limited to patients with a terminal disease that have exhausted all conventional treatment options and cannot enroll in a clinical trial. All medications available under the law must have successfully completed basic safety testing and be part of the FDA’s on-going approval process.

“This law will give terminally ill people in Oregon hope when they need it most,” said Olsen.

Follow progress of the national Right To Try movement on Facebook or at RightToTry.org.

The Goldwater Institute has teamed up with an Indiana mother on a Change.org petition in support of Right To Try that has gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

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About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.

 

 

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