Proposed Right to Try Legislation “Would Likely Do More Harm Than Good”

Patient Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Instead Pursue Legislation That Improves Safe Access to Unapproved Therapies

February 6, 2018

Washington, D.C.— February 6, 2018 — The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) together with nearly 40 other patient organizations sent a letter to U.S. House Leadership today opposing proposed Right to Try legislation being considered in the House. The letter notes, “The Right to Try bills currently under consideration in the House do not effectuate policy changes that would afford our patients greater access to promising investigational therapies. Instead, these bills would likely do more harm than good.”

The groups note that when access to a therapy is denied to a patient, it is generally the company that denies the request, rather than the FDA, for reasons such as a determination that the benefits do not outweigh the risks or lack of sufficient product to offer outside of clinical trials.

The letter goes on to urge leadership to instead consider legislation that, “would improve the ability of patients to genuinely and safely access unapproved therapies.”

For a full copy of the letter, visit:



ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

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