'Right to Try' Legislation in U.S. House of Representatives is Narrowly Defeated; ISSCR Opposed

  • 12 March, 2018
On 12 March, a day before a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on 'Right to Try' legislation, the ISSCR wrote a letter to House leadership expressing opposition to the measure, which would have allowed patients access to experimental medical treatments without FDA oversight and approval. The measure was narrowly defeated 13 March. 

"While there have been several improvements to the Senate-passed Right to Try Act, this legislation would put patients at risk and undermine the effective FDA Expanded Access Program, already in place, that gives seriously ill patients access to experimental treatments," according to the letter, signed by ISSCR president Hans Clevers. The letter goes on to support maintaining and strengthening the FDA's role in regulating patient access to new treatments to protect the health and welfare of patients, ensure the integrity of clinical trials, and provide a clear path for new products to be developed and tested for use in patients.

The ISSCR also joined more than 75 patient and medical groups in signing a letter in opposition to the legislation. Both efforts follow a similar letter sent in February, 2018, signed by the ISSCR and 38 patient groups and written prior to legislation being scheduled for a vote in the House.