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8 ways ‘right to try’ may affect health industry

March 22, 2018

After failing last week to pass the so-called “right to try” bill, members of the House finally approved the measure Wednesday night.

The bill would allow terminally ill patients access to unapproved drugs without federal regulatory oversight.

The bill passed 267-149 after House Democrats tried and failed to delay the final vote, citing concerns about safety.

The bill moves on to conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will work on a compromised version.

President Donald Trump has shown support for right to try in the past, advocating for it by name in his State of the Union Address last January.

So how will this affect the practice of healthcare? Here are a few points to consider. 

1. Physicians must contact drugmakers to request treatments for their patients.

2. A drug must have passed at least Phase 1 clinical trials. An estimated 11% of the drugs that pass Phase 1 ultimately get FDA approval.

3. Drugmakers and physicians are protected from liability.

4. Drug companies can refuse to provide the products.

5. Patients would be responsible for the entire cost of the experimental treatment.

6. Treatments would cost only what drugmakers pay to produce and ship the drug.

7. In 19 of the 38 states that enacted right-to-try laws, insurers can deny hospice care to patients who have used an experimental drug.

8. Insurers are not required to cover the cost of care for side effects from an experimental drug.

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