Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 am - 12 pm

As President Trump signs the ‘right-to-try’ bill into law, we debate if patients will be better off

Alba Cerrato displays her cocktail of 14 different medications.
Alba Cerrato displays her cocktail of 14 different medications.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 5MB

President Donald Trump signed the “right-to-try” bill into law on Wednesday, a measure that gives terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The law permits the use of drugs that are still in clinical trials and "have passed Phase 1 of the Food and Drug Administration's approval process," according to reports. Under the “right-to-try,” patients will be able to choose to follow doctors’ recommendations and drug companies while sidestepping the FDA. Some proponents say this move will be particularly helpful for patients who go from country to country trying to seek a cure when they can get help right here at home.

Meanwhile, some critics call this a questionable privilege given that such drugs have passed only preliminary safety testing and only a small fraction of these treatments will get approved.

What do you think, will you be willing for a loved one or yourself to experiment with medicines of questionable safety that may or may not work? Call us at 866-893-5722


Christina Sandefur, executive vice president of the Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based libertarian think tank; she is the co-author of the original right to try law; she tweets @cmsandefur

Alison Bateman-House, assistant professor in the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center; she testified before a House Energy and Commerce Committee on examining patient access to investigational drugs; she tweets @ABatemanHouse