Murkowski, Sullivan Help Increase Treatment Options for Terminally Ill

Right to Try Act Passes Senate

The U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-AK), that gives terminally ill patients an alternative route to treatment, providing such patients options to access investigational agents not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act, improves care for patients through providing access to more individualized treatment from medical professionals, without undermining the FDA’s authority of requiring physical certification of treatments. Those suffering from terminal illnesses will now have the opportunity to access investigational treatments to meet their complex needs.

“We must exhaust all options and use every tool in our toolbox when providing support for those fighting terminal illnesses. So many of us have personal connections with those who have lived with ALS, a disease that knows no cure. To offer support to people like Matt Bellina, a U.S. Veteran suffering with ALS is so important,” said Senator Murkowski. “My hope is this bill will provide support to not only the individuals with terminal illness, but also to their families and loved ones seeking answers to their struggle.”

“Individuals suffering from a terminal illness and their family members are faced with an anguishing struggle for wellness,” said Senator Sullivan. “In many cases, these patients would like the opportunity to pursue experimental drugs or equipment, even if the odds are long. They should have that right. The Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act removes the threat of federal interference in these incredibly sensitive cases, allowing states to pass laws that fit the needs of their residents. I thank my colleagues, under the leadership of Senator Ron Johnson, for passing this commonsense legislation that may give families in harrowing circumstances a glimmer of hope.” 

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