House passes right-to-try on second try image

Politico, March 21, 2018
Sarah Karlin-Smith, quoting Christopher T. Robertson (Academic Fellow alumnus)


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From the Article:

The House of Representatives passed on party lines Wednesday evening a bill designed to let very sick patients request access to experimental medicines without government oversight.

The passage of the bill, known as right-to-try, is a big victory for the small libertarian think tank that crafted the proposal — and for a White House that has vigorously campaigned for the law. And it comes one week after Republicans failed to pass a similar measure through an expedited process that needed two-thirds support from the chamber.

The victory also highlights the success of Goldwater’s strategy of pushing legislation state-by-state — 38 states have approved — and using that momentum to take it to the national level, said Christopher Robertson, an expert on health law and bioethics at the University of Arizona.

It’s “easy for them to bend the ear of local politicians,” Robertson said, and “even if the state legislation is completely ineffectual it does present one symbolic victory after the next.” Moreover, the average state legislator doesn’t need to understand the intricacies of FDA law, making it easier for Goldwater to sway state lawmakers. Besides drug marketing, Robertson said pushing to get more medicines available over the counter, without a doctor’s prescription, is also on the libertarian group's agenda.

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bioethics christopher robertson clinical research health law policy human subjects research medical safety pharmaceuticals