According to a report on postbulletin.com, there are 33 states that have right-to-try laws, giving people with life-threatening illnesses access to drugs that have not yet been approved by the FDA.
So long as the drug has safely completed the Phase 1 stage of clinical testing on humans, terminally ill people can apply to take the drug rather than wait for up to 10 years for it to get the FDA’s approval.
One of the patients who benefitted from Minnesota’s right-to-try laws is Eli. Diagnosed shortly after birth with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Eli’s family was told that it was unlikely that he would live beyond his first birthday. However, thanks to the right-to-try laws in the state, Eli was able to join a clinical trial with 15 other SMA patients for a new drug.
Eli is now two years old and doing much more than doctors believed he would. He can talk and sing, and even walk with the aid of a walker—milestones the family was not expecting to witness.
Although taking medication that’s still in the research phase offers no guarantees, being allowed to take these drugs offers hope for patients who may have exhausted all their other options.
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