RI considers ‘right to try’ experimental drugs

News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island House of Representatives is planning to vote on a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bill’s sponsor, Warwick Democratic Rep. Joseph McNamara, says the “right to try” bill would give dying patients a sliver of hope.

A vote is expected Thursday. Similar legislation stalled last year.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says more than half of states now have similar laws on the books but no one’s tracking if patients have taken advantage of them.

The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian group in Arizona, has pushed states to act. Drug manufacturers remain reluctant to bypass the FDA.

Maine recently became the first New England state to enact a “right to try” law.

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