Public Health Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING THE RIGHT TO TRY EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Public Health Committee
REASONS FOR BILL: This bill allows terminally ill patients meeting certain eligibility criteria to request access to medications that have not yet been approved for general use by the FDA.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Rep. Noreen Kokoruda: the main purpose of the bill is allow those who are terminally ill the ability to pursue other possible life saving treatments investigational drugs, products and devices. Providing our most vulnerable citizens the unique opportunity to choose to participate in such a program is a major step towards improving their lives and futures.
Sen. Art Linares: A right to try law in Connecticut can help patients who have exhausted all existing treatment options, by allowing terminally ill patients the ability to seek other medical options that have not yet come to market.
Sen. Kevin Witkos: The right to try is about hope. It's about treatment and empowerment. It's about helping people fight for their lives when they have nowhere else to go. Additionally this bill requires that the patient consents to understanding the risks, that health insurers and providers are not required to pay for any treatment, and that the patient is liable for all cost.
Sen. Martin Looney: This bill strikes a reasonable balance: it contains numerous safeguards and allows access to these treatments only to terminally ill patients. It does not require that insurance companies cover these treatments either.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Nicole Stacy, Family Institute of Connecticut ACTION: strongly supports H.B. 5270, which will open another avenue for terminally ill patients to access possibly lifesaving treatments and cures. The criticisms that Right To Try will threaten to unravel decades of patients protections are false and exaggerated.
Suzanne Bates, Policy Director, Yankee Institute: State residents should not have to ask permission to save their lives. This bill will allow terminally ill patients to avoid waiting for lengthy trail periods before a treatment comes to market. Several states around the country have already passed similar bills with bipartisan support.
Stephen Mendelsohn, Second Thoughts Connecticut: 5270 offers people who desperately need hope a means to go on and fight. This bill is very pro-patient and has no downside to it.
The following individuals all support HB-5270 on the grounds that a dying individual should be able to pursue whatever drug, procedure or equipment that may offer them a shot at surviving. No law should stand in the way of that pursuit.
Sarah E. Motta
Tracey. M. Trotman
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Anthony Sabatelli: H.B. No. 5270 is not in the best interest of critically ill patients, the State's thriving biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and the public at large. While this legislation is well-intended, it neglects to consider serious challenges associated with providing access to experimental medicines.
Paul R. Pescatello, JD, PhD, Senior Counsel and Executive Director of the Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council: Biopharma companies and research institutions and universities depend on a clear regulatory framework for clinical trials. Right to try would complicate and confuse a successful regulatory process, ultimately undermining our collective goal of bringing new and better treatments and cures to patients as speedily as possible.
Reported by: Walter L. Morton IV