WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator and physician Rand Paul called for the passage of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) S. 2912, the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act, to prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from interfering with “Right to Try” laws that 31 states have adopted. Right to Try allows patients suffering from a terminal illness to use treatments, under a doctor’s supervision, that have not yet received the FDA’s final approval. 

“As a physician, I believe that treatment is decided best between a doctor and a patient and not through a slow-moving bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., especially when every moment matters in facing a terminal illness,” said Dr. Paul. “As we work on streamlining the FDA’s approval process, I urge my colleagues to pass Senator Johnson’s common-sense bill that respects states’ actions on expanding treatment access.” 

“Many of us have felt that sense of desperation — of urgency — when we learn that someone we love is fighting for their life,” said Sen. Johnson. “In 2014, I met with a brave Wisconsin woman, Trickett Wendler, who was fighting ALS. Trickett passed away last year, but her spirit and her fight are among the reasons I am passionate about this issue — because I know that today, and every day, millions of Americans are fighting similar life-and-death battles to save themselves and their loved ones. For Trickett, and for countless others facing terminal illnesses, now is the time to give more patients a chance to save their lives — to give them hope. I’m thankful to Senator Paul for his support and hope my colleagues in the Senate will join with their support for this important, bipartisan bill.” 

Dr. Paul cosponsored S. 2912 and spoke at a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing examining the legislation last Thursday. Senator Johnson serves as chairman of the committee.

Below, you can find video of Dr. Paul’s remarks and background information on the bill.


Background on S. 2912:

  • Named in honor of Trickett Wendler, who passed away in March 2015 after battling ALS; 
  • Provides a potential lifeline for terminally ill patients without undoing the FDA’s approval process;
  • Requires physician certification that other options are exhausted or not available, maintaining incentives for patients to seek out and join clinical trials;
  • Requires products to have completed Phase 1 (safety) testing by the FDA;
  • Ensures adverse outcomes are not used against a company’s ongoing application for approval;
  • Prevents additional liability for patients, doctors, and manufacturers. 


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