Colorado to Become First “Right To Try” State

co-state-capitol-300Colorado is poised to become the first state in the nation to allow terminally ill patients to access safe experimental medications that could save their lives, even when those medicines are years away from hitting the market. Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign the nation’s first Right to Try Act tomorrow in a ceremony with patients and advocates at a Fort Collins-area hospital.  More than 500,000 Americans die each year of cancer alone, and thousands more of other terminal illnesses. Currently it takes more than a decade and a billion dollars to bring life-saving treatments to market. While there are over 20,000 safe drugs currently winding their way through the Food and Drug Administration approval process, only three percent of the sickest patients are eligible for clinical trials.  This means that the vast majority of patients die knowing that there may be a drug in existence that could help them, but they are not allowed to have it.  The Right to Try Act requires patients to be supervised by their own doctors and applies only to drugs that have already been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration.  Similar legislation is close to approval in Louisiana and Missouri, and has already been sent to the ballot for voter approval in Arizona.