Should patients have the Right To Try experimental therapies that could be unsafe and ineffective? What if those patients have a terminal illness and no reasonable prospects of being helpful to conventional medicine? Doesn’t it make perfect sense to let them try a risky approach if they want to do so? On the other hand, could some businesses capitalize on Right-To-Try to try to make a lot of money off of vulnerable patients?
Right-To-Try sparks many tough questions like these and there is often vigorous debate about the best path forward. As state Right-To-Try laws have spread, a movement has also been growing to make federal law to codify Right-To-Try, raising concerns amongst some in the stem cell community, while others in the community favor the law.
If you can make it, I highly recommend going to the MedCity Converge conference on July 31-August 1 in NYC for a number of sessions including in particular one on Right-To-Try on the second day.
It will be a debate between NYU’s Beth Roxland and Christina Sandefur of The Goldwater Institute. I imagine that Roxland will provide a critical take on RTT based on her previous scholarship in this area, while both Sandefur and The Goldwater Institute have been strong proponents of Right-To-Try so it should be a great debate.
Here’s the Full Agenda of the MedCity Converge meeting and the meeting listing for the Right-To-Try debate:
“The Right to Try – Foolhardy or Compassionate?Some 37 states now have ‘Right To Try’ legislation and the movement has a strong ally in the White House with Vice President Pence. However, the logistics are yet to be determined. Should terminally ill patients throughout the U.S. have access to investigational treatments that have only passed basic safety testing? If so, who’s responsible for the cost of the drug, the patient’s care, and any potential side effects?
Moderator: Peter Loftus, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Speakers:Beth Roxland, J.D., M.Bioethics., Senior Consultant on Law, Ethics and Policy; Associate, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical School
Christina Sandefur, Executive Vice President, Goldwater Institute”