Sens. Booker, Paul Aim to Increase Access to Drugs for the Terminally Ill
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-K.Y., are helping terminally ill patients who have exhausted all approved treatment options get access to care not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The July 26 legislation is called the Right to Try Clarification Act.
In May 2018, the federal Right to Try law was passed to allow terminally ill patients to access Schedule 1 drugs for which a phase one clinical trial has been completed. The clarification act from Booker and Paul would remove obstacles posed by the Controlled Substances Act.
Two substances currently classified as Schedule 1 drugs — MDMA and psilocybin — showed promise in helping with mental health issues, like suicidal depression, anxiety and PTSD.
These drugs have shown safety and effectiveness in phase one and two clinical trials, but still many terminally ill patients who need care don’t have access to these therapies. The bill would ensure that the Right to Try law applies to investigational drugs on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, and allow many terminally ill patients, such as veterans struggling with PTSD and at serious risk of suicide, to access these treatments.
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