Right To Try gives options to terminally ill

Originally written by Emilee Fannon for Illinois Homepage

Update: 10:20 pm

Patients can get the chance to try drugs which have not passed federal testing.

“What they’ve done is brought it to the forefront for everyone to understand that that is available to the general population.”

Available, but how affordable? The new Right to Try law would give terminally ill patients the option of trying experimental drugs not approved by the FDA.

“These are drugs that I’ve already gone through a phase one trial, which means that you’ve already established the maximal, tolerable dose and you’ve already established toxicity.”

Most of these drugs can cost up to $100,000 per dosage.

“So yes, you can have this drug, but it will cost you $1 million, so, in other words, the drug is not available to you.”

Dr. Khan says, before this legislation, the only option available was called Compassionate Exemption. However, it wasn’t advertised due to potential dangers.

“And that’s an understanding the patient will have prior to starting treatment and that’s what we call informed consent.”

Patients typically have to wait years for these drugs to be approved. This bill would allow patients the opportunity, but they could be taking a chance of life or death.

“So, there are unexpected side effects one has to be aware of and those side effects can, and do, include death.”

The bill’s sponsor says, regardless, patents want to have the option.

“People want to fight to live. We’ve all had family, friends and neighbors who’ve gone through terminal illness.”

Doctors say, people with HIV, ALS, cancer or other serious conditions are the most likely to try the drugs.

“It doesn’t guarantee that, so yes, you might have a drug that’s very effective, but it’s up to the company if they’re going to give it to you or not. It’s also up to the insurance if they’ll pay for it or not.”

More than a dozen states have adopted Right to Try in the past two years.

Original: 5:43 pm

Terminally ill patients are now able to try other off-the-market options. It’s called Right to Try. It was signed into law this week.

It gives patients a chance to try drugs which have not passed federal testing. People with HIV, ALS, cancer orother serious conditions can get access to experimental treatments.

Doctors say it’s another option, but may not be affordable. Some drugs can cost up to $100,000 a dose.