WASHINGTON, March 20, 2018 – Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance) President and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS, issued the following statement in anticipation of the second House vote on H.R. 5247: The Right to Try Act of 2018:
The Alliance for Aging Research urges House members to reject H.R. 5247, The Right to Try Act of 2018, when it comes up for a vote under standard procedure this week. Four former commissioners of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and nearly 80 national patient advocacy organizations, have expressed opposition to the bill because it would remove FDA protections from the process of allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs not yet approved by the agency. The FDA already has an expanded-access program for approving experimental drugs for patients who are not in clinical trials. The FDA’s program includes important safeguards to help ensure that the potential patient benefit justifies the potential risk of the expanded access use of the investigational drug, and that the potential risk is not excessive in the context of the disease or condition to be treated. The program receives more than 1,000 requests a year and approves 99 percent. This bill would remove those key safety protections for patients without addressing basic obstacles to accessing experimental medications. FDA is taking meaningful steps toward tackling remaining obstacles to expanded access for patients. We urge Congress to vote against H.R. 5247.
About the Alliance for Aging Research:
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance was founded in 1986 in Washington, D.C., and has since become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers. For more information, please visit www.agingresearch.org.
Lauren Smith Dyer
Vice President of Communications