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“Right to Try” Laws: The Gap between Experts and Advocates

The year 2014 brought a new development in the bioethics “laboratory of the states.” Five states adopted “right to try” laws intended to promote terminally ill patients’ access to investigational drugs. Many more state legislatures are now considering such laws. The campaign for right to try laws is the latest move in an ongoing effort to give seriously ill patients access to drugs whose safety and effectiveness remain largely unknown. Although scientists and policy-makers oppose the right to try approach, it has proven quite popular among state legislators and the public.
Rebecca Dresser,“’Right to Try’ Laws: The Gap between Experts and Advocates,” Hastings Center Report 45, no. 3 (2015): 9-10.