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Experimental Treatment Bill Backed By Ron Johnson Clears US Senate

'Right To Try' Measure Would Let Seriously Ill Patients Get Around FDA Approval Waits

Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is one step closer to giving terminally ill patients the ability to try experimental treatments with Food and Drug Administration approval.

The Wisconsin Republican has been pushing a “right to try” bill that passed the Senate on Thursday by unanimous consent. It now goes to the House, where Johnson is urging House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Janesville, to take it up quickly.

Johnson proposed the bill at the request of the Wendler family of Pewaukee after Trickett Wendler died from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2015.

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The libertarian Goldwater Institute has convinced 37 states to adopt the “right to try” concept and the Wisconsin Assembly passed it in March. It’s still pending in the state Senate.

Johnson’s bill requires medicines to pass at least one phase of clinical trials before terminally ill patients could use them.