Contact: Charles Siler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LOUISIANA BECOMES SECOND STATE IN TWO WEEKS TO GIVE DYING PATIENTS ‘RIGHT TO TRY’ LIFE-SAVING EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINES
Gov. Bobby Jindal signs Right to Try Act, enabling terminally ill patients to access life-saving treatments not yet on the market
Signaling a tide change for terminally ill patients, Louisiana will become the second state in just two weeks to allow terminally ill patients to access safe experimental medications that could save their lives today. Governor Bobby Jindal (R) will sign the Right to Try Act into law Friday in a signing ceremony at his office.
The Right to Try Act, which was signed into law by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) May 17, enables terminally ill patients under the care of their doctors and cooperating drug companies to receive potentially life-saving medications that have been deemed safe by the FDA but are still years away from being approved for market.
More than 1,000,000 Americans die each year of terminal illness. Currently it takes more than a decade and a billion dollars to bring a single life-saving treatment to market, and fewer than three percent of the sickest patients are able to access drugs through clinical trials. This means that thousands of Americans are dying each year unable to access potentially life-saving drugs.
In other words, the vast majority of patients die knowing that there may be a drug in existence that could help them, but they are not allowed to have it because of the current system.
“This is about saving lives,” said Darcy Olsen, President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute, which designed the Right to Try Act. “We will work nationwide until all Americans have the right to try to save their lives.”
The Goldwater Institute worked with Louisiana legislator Julie Stokes (R) to pass Right to Try there, garnering unanimous support in both legislative chambers. In Missouri, the Right To Try Act awaits the signature of Governor Jay Nixon (D), and in Arizona, voters will have the opportunity to approve Right To Try on the November ballot. The Goldwater Institute is currently working with legislators in more than two dozen states to introduce and approve the Right to Try Act in 2014.
For more information, watch Goldwater CEO Darcy Olsen and Communications Director Lucy Caldwell discuss Right to Try here. To schedule an interview with the Goldwater Institute, please contact Charles Siler at the Goldwater Institute at (602) 633-8960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are affiliated with a national network, the Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up at no cost, and can additionally make available Institute spokespeople for live in-person interviews.