Proposed laws on experimental drugs stir debate

BY Stephen Fee  June 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM EDT
This May, Colorado’s governor signed the nation’s first ”right to try” bill, which allows terminally ill patients to try unapproved — and potentially dangerous — drugs outside of clinical trials and without approval from federal regulators.

Missouri and Louisiana have passed similar statutes, and Arizona voters will vote on their own version this fall.

 Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News joins NewsHour Weekend for a Google+ hangout on the current status of the debate surrounding “right to try.”

For the NewsHour Weekend broadcast, we profiled the Missouri State Representative Jim Neely who introduced that state’s bill and his daughter, who is fighting a deadly form of cancer.

Neely is backed by Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute and by patients and families who have lost relatives to diseases, but the proposed measure is not without controversy. While FDA remains neutral in the legislation debate, there are opponents to these type of laws.

To get more context about the debate surrounding “right to try,” I spoke with Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News.