Right to Try law takes effect

July 1, 2015 11:51AM
Today, the Phil Timp-Amanda Wilcox Right to Try Act officially goes into effect in Tennessee. This means terminally ill patients will finally be able to access medicine that has been deemed safe by the Food & Drug Administration but has yet to receive the agency’s final approval.  
“As a physician, I’ve seen firsthand how heart wrenching it can be to discover you have a terminal illness,” said Sen. Joey Hensley, Senate sponsor of the measure. “Our state has made it a priority to give those most in need the hope for a brighter future.”
Rep. Jon Lundberg, House sponsor of the bill added, “This is a historic day for terminally ill patients in Tennessee. Now, Tennessee patients won’t have to rely exclusively on a massive federal bureaucracy to try and save their own lives.”
With the law taking effect July 1, terminally ill patients now have the option to access potentially life-saving medicine in cooperation with their physician and drug’s manufacturer. Options include medicine that has passed the FDA’s Phase I safety testing but is still not available on the open market. Until now, Tennessee’s terminally ill patients could only appeal directly to the FDA for access to this safe medication, a process which often takes months. 
Justin Owen, president & CEO of the Beacon Center went on to note, “We are not satisfied with just passing this Right to Try law; we want to make sure people will be able to take advantage of it. The Beacon Center will serve as a resource for anyone who wants more information on this new law may help them.”