President Trump Signs ‘Right To Try’ Legislation…

Earlier today President Trump signed S. 204, the “Right to Try Act”. The legislation provides terminally ill patients with the right to try experimental medicine and medical procedures. Detail: authorizes certain patients to seek access to certain unapproved investigational drugs directly from a drug sponsor or manufacturer; limits the use of clinical outcomes and liability arising from the provision of such drugs; and provides reporting requirements for the use and outcomes of the new authority.

[Transcript] 12:31 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. I really appreciate it. This is — to me, this is a very important moment, a very important day. Been looking forward to this for a long time, along with Senator Ron Johnson. And I will tell you, we worked hard on this. I never understood why it was hard.

They’ve been trying to have it passed for years. I never understood why. Because I’d see people — friends of mine, and other people I’d read about, where they’d travel all over the world looking for a cure. And we have the best medical people in the world, but we have trials and we long time — 12 years, 15 years. Even when things look really promising, so many years. And I never understood why they didn’t do this. And we worked very hard.

And I want to thank Vice President Pence for helping us so much. Mike was in there, and I’d say, “Mike, how we doing? We got to get it approved.” And he was — he was really working it. And in my State of the Union Address, four months ago, I called on Congress to pass Right to Try. It’s such a great name. Some bills, they don’t have a good name. (Laughter.) Okay? They really don’t. But this is such a great name, from the first day I heard it. It’s so perfect. Right to Try.

And a lot of that trying is going to be successful. I really believe that. I really believe it.

So we did it. And we went through the Senate, we went through the House. The House had a bill. The Senate had a bill. We’d go and mesh them together. We got to go back and take votes. And I said, do me a favor — tell me, which is the better bill for the people? Not for the insurance company, not for the pharmaceutical companies. I don’t care about them. I really don’t. I couldn’t care less. (Applause.)

And that’s the bill I — I won’t tell you which one. But I took the one that was — (laughter) — they said one in particular was great for the people. Not so good for the others, but great for the people. We don’t care about the others right now. And it’s giving terminally ill patients the right to try experimental lifesaving treatments. And some of these treatments are so promising.

And we’re moving that timeline way up anyway, beyond this. We’re moving it way up. But it’s still a process that takes years. Now it takes up to 15 years; even 20 years, some of these treatments are going. But for many years, patients, advocates, and lawmakers have fought for this fundamental freedom. And as I said, incredibly, they couldn’t get it. And there were reasons. A lot of it was business. A lot of it was pharmaceuticals. A lot of it was insurance. A lot of it was liability. I said, so you take care of that stuff. And that’s what we did.

Today I’m proud to keep another promise to the American people as I sign the Right to Try legislation into law. (Applause.)

Right? (Speaks to participant on stage.) You’re so beautiful. So beautiful.

If I looked like that, I would have been President 10 years earlier. (Laughter.) If I had that face, if I had that head of hair, I would have been President so long ago. (Laughter.) That’s great.

So I want to thank a couple of people. Secretary Azar is here. Where’s the Secretary? Secretary? Please stand up. You have worked so hard on this. (Applause.) Thank you very much. You’ve really done a great job. And we’re going to have another exciting news conference over the next, what, three weeks? Four weeks? Two weeks? What do you think? On healthcare. We’re going to have great healthcare. We’ll get rid of the individual mandate. Without that, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing in a few weeks. We’re going to have great, inexpensive, but really good healthcare.

And we have two plans coming out. We also have, through our great Secretary of Labor, we have a great plan coming out, and that’s through associations. We’re going to have two plans coming out. For the most part, we will have gotten rid of a majority of Obamacare. Gotten tremendous — (applause) — yeah. Could have had it done a little bit easier, but somebody decided not to vote for it, so it’s one of those things.

I want to thank Secretary Azar, and I want to thank Commissioner Gottlieb. Where’s Scott? Scott, stand up. (Applause.) Ooh, I like those — I like those socks, Scott. And, Scott, let me ask you. So it takes years and years to get this approved, right? You’re bringing down — beyond this, you’re bringing down that period of time. What is the average time now it takes for, you know, a major medicine or cure? What’s the average time it takes to go through the system and get an approval?

COMMISSIONER GOTTLIEB: Depends on the medicine. Probably three to seven years.

THE PRESIDENT: Three to seven. And some go long over 10, right?

COMMISSIONER GOTTLIEB: Some can go much longer.

THE PRESIDENT: And you’re bringing that down? You’re trying to bring that down? You know, for safety. Very good. And you, in particular, you’re very happy with this. Aren’t you?

COMMISSIONER GOTTLIEB: We are.

THE PRESIDENT: You have a lot of good things in the wings that, frankly, if you moved them up, a lot of people would have a great shot. Right?

COMMISSIONER GOTTLIEB: We’re trying to get (inaudible), Mr. President, under your leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. That’s fantastic. Well, thank you, Scott. We’re very proud of the job you’re doing.

We’re also working very hard in getting the cost of medicine down. And I think people are going to see, for the first time ever in this country, a major drop in the cost of prescription drugs. Right? (Applause.) And, Mr. Secretary, that’s already happening. Right? That’s already happening. You were telling me yesterday that we’re seeing a big — a tremendous improvement. And you’re going to have some big news. I think we’re going to have some big — some of the big drug companies in two weeks. And they’re going to announce — because of what we did, they’re going to announce voluntary massive drops in prices. So that’s great. That’s going to be a fantastic thing.

You know, we’re working on some really great things. Aren’t we? When you think about it. Ron, pretty good. Huh? We could do some of those — healthcare, drug prices. But this is the baby. Right now.

We would not be here today without the tireless efforts of dedicated members of Congress. That’s so true. I want to especially thank Senator Ron Johnson — stand up please, Ron — (applause) — for his tremendous leadership. You know, I just tell you, he doesn’t stop. He doesn’t give up. You know, it’s good. It’s good for all of us. This guy, Ron, very capable, very — he just doesn’t give up. So when we started working, I knew this was going to happen.

I also want to thank Senator Donnelly. Senator Donnelly, thank you very much. That’s really great. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) A fantastic young gentleman, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. Brian, congratulations. And I know how hard you work, Brian. (Applause.) And Dr. Michael Burgess. Do you like being called “Doctor” or “Congressman”? I think “Doctor” is better. I like “Doctor.” (Laughs.) So we’ll call him Doctor. (Applause.) Thank you, Michael, very much. Great job. You worked — I know how hard everybody worked, and I really appreciate it. Everybody appreciates it. The country appreciates it. Because nobody understood why this wasn’t happening. You know, they’ve been talking about this for how long, Ron? Twenty-five years?

SENATOR JOHNSON: A long time.

THE PRESIDENT: A long time. A lot of talk. Politicians. It’s a lot of talk.

I also want to thank Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, who’s not here. But he really worked hard with us. He really did. (Applause.) And thanks, as well, to state and local officials here today who fought for this important cause. They fought so hard, so many of them. I want to thank you for the incredible work that you’ve done on behalf of these and all wonderful Americans. I mean, anybody can be there someday. Anybody can be there. Could you all stand up — the state, local people that worked so hard on this? Because you really have been — thank you. Yep. Thank you, fellas. (Applause.) Couldn’t have done it without the state and local, and I appreciate it. Really great job. Thank you.

Most of all, we’re honored to be joined by several brave Americans for whom this bill is named. Matthew Bellina, who is battling ALS, and his incredible wife Caitlin. Matthew. Right? (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Laura McLinn and her son, Jordan, who is battling muscular dystrophy. Some good answers. (Applause.) That’s so great. Thanks. Thanks for being with us, Jordan. We’re going to have some good answers for you. (Laughter.) Matthew, you’re going to be happy. You are happy. Frank Mongiello, who’s battling ALS, and who’s joined by his wife, Marylin, and their six children. Wow. That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. (Applause.) Thank you. Six children. And finally, I want to thank for being here and introduce Tim Wendler, who tragically lost his wife Trickett to ALS, and joined also by their three children. So, Tim, thank you very much. Thank you, Tim. (Applause.)

I want to thank you all for being here. You have extraordinary courage, determination, and love. You have love. Real love. And thanks to you, the countless American lives will ultimately be saved. We will be saving — I don’t even want to say thousands, because I think it’s going to be much more — thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands. We’re going to be saving tremendous numbers of lives. And it’s so great that you’re up here with us and that we’re all on this front line together.

Each year, thousands of terminally ill patients suffer while waiting for new and experimental drugs to receive final FDA approval. It takes a long time, and the time is coming down. While we were streamlining and doing a lot of streamlining, the current FDA approval process can take, as Scott just said, many years — many, many years. And for countless patients, time, it’s not what they have. They don’t have an abundance of time.

With the Right to Try law I’m signing today, patients with life-threatening illnesses will finally have access to experimental treatments that could improve or even cure their conditions. These are experimental treatments and products that have shown great promise, and we weren’t able to use them before. Now we can use them. And oftentimes they’re going to be very successful. It’s an incredible thing.

The Right to Try also offers new hope for those who either don’t qualify for clinical trials or who have exhausted all available treatment options. There were no options, but now you have hope. You really have hope.

Matthew Bellina, who is here with us, is just one example of many Americans who today has new cause for hope. Due to the late progression of Matt’s ALS, he doesn’t qualify for any clinical trials in the United States. He wouldn’t qualify; couldn’t do it. They tried; he didn’t qualify.

Despite his limited mobility and budget, he was planning on traveling thousands of miles away, to Israel, to receive a treatment that is still awaiting FDA approval in America. No one in Matt’s position should ever have to travel from our great country to another continent or another country to receive a treatment.

Now, with the passage of this bill, Americans will be able to seek cures right here at home, close to their family and their loved ones. We are finally giving these wonderful Americans the right to try. So important. (Applause.)

America has always been a nation of fighters who never give up. Right? We never give up, ever. Right? Never give up. We’re fighters, like the amazing patients and families here today.

Now, as I proudly sign — and this is very personal for me. But as I proudly sign this bill, thousands of terminally ill Americans will finally have the help, the hope, and the fighting chance — and I think it’s going to be better than chance — that they will be cured, that they will be helped, that they’ll be able to be with their families for a long time or maybe just for a longer time. But we’re able to give them the absolute best, as to what we have at this current moment, at this current second. And now, we’re going to help a lot of people. We’re going to help a lot of people.

So it’s an honor to be signing this. And if I might, I think I’ll present — I think I have to do this, Ron. I have to present this good-looking guy with the first pen. Is that okay? You don’t mind, right? Okay, good. I’m going to do that. (Applause.)

(The bill is signed.) (Applause.)

So I want to thank — (laughter) — it’s going to be fantastic.

Thank you all very much. This, to me, is very exciting. And you’re going to see some tremendous results. We’re going to have some incredible, incredible results.

So thank you all for being here. And all of the people in the audience who have been so helpful, thank you very much. It’s going to be something very, very special. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

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46 Responses to President Trump Signs ‘Right To Try’ Legislation…

  1. Donna in Oregon says:

    Watched this. Very moving to see the effort and compassion packed into this ceremony. Nice job fellas…

    I hope and pray the results are amazing and that there is healing for these people.

    Liked by 10 people

    • wendy forward says:

      That little boy was so beautiful.

      This is a very libertarian – in the best sense of the word – and humane moment. Awesome.

      Liked by 7 people

    • Eric C. says:

      Even if there is no “healing”, this will allow for more robust trials. I would be happy if I did something that pointed researchers in a better direction, i.e. no improvement in any patient shows something else needs to be tried. This conclusion will will happen quicker now, instead of bureaucrats holding innovation up by years, if not decades.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mike says:

      I think this misses a lot of the problems we have with the FDA, and can be used by the pharmas and insurers to exploit us more on new drugs. Insurers may deny coverage to illness and injuries caused by nonstandard drugs or treatments. Pharmas already have a lot of injuries and questionable benefits with new drugs, this version of FDA revamp might be used to worsen that situation.

      The biggest problem I see is that FDA prevents price competition with excess rules that are relatively ineffective on actual protection, even of simple old drugs. Some better drugs overseas are massively delayed or unapproved in the US for decades.

      Also there is a continuing undercurrent by the FDA and others to attack supplements.

      Like

      • rheavolans says:

        “Pharmas already have a lot of injuries and questionable benefits with new drugs,”

        Don’t think that trial lawyers aren’t playing their part in driving up costs, either. I remember hearing an ad once on TV from some trial lawyer; if you had taken this particular diabetes medication and suffered kidney trouble, well by golly it’s your medication so you better join this class action suit! Except that one of the serious side effects to uncontrolled diabetes, regardless of the medicine you take, is…damage to the kidneys.

        Drug companies, when they pay settlements, don’t pay for it. They jack up the costs of drugs and make people like me pay for it.

        Like

      • NvMtnOldMan says:

        Mile=I think Trump signed an EO not too long ago that addressed these problems. It was about lowering drug prices and increasing competition. Especially those companies that have new generic drugs.

        Like

  2. Pat Frederick says:

    give an American a little hope and the right to try and we can move mountains! thank you Mr. President!!

    Liked by 6 people

    • cali says:

      @Pat Frederick: Nicely stated! 🙂

      President Trump’s passion for the infirm really showed today as seen here with this little boy.
      Compare that to the lefts solution: assisted suicide or euthanasia.

      What a difference a president makes. There is no doubt in my mind that experimental drugs have always been available to the elites but withheld to the rest of our citizens. It’s about time that they too have the opportunity and access to the same as the elites.

      I know citizens in the UK wish they had president Trump as their leader after the various cases of children who were denied the right to live.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wendy forward says:

    When I start to get stressed out by all the insanity I just watch POTUS. This is NOT how a person worried about investigation, impeachment, etc. behaves. He is happy, strong, positive and I try to follow his lead.

    Liked by 15 people

  4. LL says:

    Such simple legislation that undoubtedly can have a gloriously positive impact on american lives and values if this succeeds in doing what we all think some of these drugs can provide.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. tonyE says:

    Trump, like Ronald Reagan, has the gift of connecting with people. Really connecting in a personal way.

    It was lovely watching the interaction between that kid and Trump.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. theresanne says:

    Anyone who could watch this and still be against our great President Trump is insane or possessed, maybe both.

    Liked by 11 people

  7. linda4298 says:

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/30/hot-mic-handicapped-individuals/ After exchanging pleasantries with the group onstage, Trump was overhead saying, “We’re going to do this first. This is more important. A speech is just words. This is more important,” as he continued to go one by one shaking hands of the individuals.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. VeritasVincit says:

    Finally! It’s about time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. anon says:

    This one’s a two-fer:

    FINALLY the GOP upper echelons are starting to call this out like Trump does. They’re growing a spine.

    Also, you get to see the rank anti-conservative bias of Twitter. 80% of the replies to this tweet would get conservative joes perma-banned were the parties reversed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      Ronna, our President has to wear a bullet proof vest and that makes him look hesty. So glad he does wear it in today’s dislike of him MAGA and they will not be able to overthrow America!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. quintrillion says:

    The most caring, loving, generous American President ever. It seems the supernatural flows right through him and out to all those receptive to the positive, uplifting energy.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Troublemaker10 says:

    Loved the video of the little boy getting his presidential hug.

    Kids know. It’s a built in instinct at that age.

    I’ve told you some stories about my experience with voter outreach in 2016 in the past. Here’s another one…

    I have met many families in my community with special needs kids (autism, down syndrome, etc) when I took school board candidates around to introduce them to voters during door-to-door campaigning.

    In 2016, I can’t tell you how many families told me these kids loved Trump. I gave a big Trump sign to one family to give their son to hang on his bedroom wall. He was so excited.

    I’ve done voter contacts (primaries, off years, and presidential since 2008. 2016 was unusual in so many ways. Never seen anything like it.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Pam says:

    What a touching event. That little boy was just so awesome. He had a smile that you could have said lit up a room. Yep, the little ones love our POTUS.

    It’s nice to see these patients finally get the chance at life that they truly deserve. God bless President Trump!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Carolina Kat says:

    If someday years and years hence, an old man recounts the story of how his research was inspired by a pen he received as a child from the President that opened the doors for medical research – this will be the moment in time.

    Greatness inspires. Wait and see.

    Liked by 7 people

  14. talker2u says:

    We elected Donald J. Trump because we the citizenry witnessed his successes, acknowledged his competence, and recognized his goodness.

    And he proves us correct every day.

    Liked by 8 people

  15. TigerBear says:

    Mr. President, thank you for signing the Right to Try Act. Finally, a way to try and save lives rather than encourage death….like the death with dignity laws some states have enacted. Much better to try and live than give up and kill yourself. The strength of those attending the signing of this bill is inspirational!!

    God Bless and keep you, Mr. President!!

    How absolutely adorable and endearing that little boy is……PRECIOUS 👍🏽👍🏽😍

    Liked by 4 people

  16. kea says:

    Outstanding!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. roubaix says:

    Great law to advance personal freedom

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Maquis says:

    I am heartened to see this. It is anti-human to forbid a dying person from choosing to accept their last chance at survival.

    I notice here “concern” that the drug companies will use this as an end run to push their money making schemes.
    I did not see a concurrent concern about the power-mad FDA and the crippling murderous effects of their bureaucratic sloth and institutional ego.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. feral2th says:

    Freedom, freedom, freedom .. awesome!!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. MfM says:

    I didn’t recognize the location of the signing. So I did some digging. It was held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. I’m sure the location was for the comfort of those attending. The White House is old, but handicapped accessible to a point. Many of the rooms aren’t that big and dealing with a lot of that equipment while doable would be challenging.

    So Trump went over there, which I’m sure was more involved because of security.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Piggy says:

    This is good. People should already have been able to “try”, this isn’t fascist Britain.

    I will say this though. I would negotiate terms before doing this. Even if terminal would still have leverage and it could help family if it does or doesn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pam says:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      Pres. Trump loves children and never fails to show it nor they to him. He is endearing and not ashamed to show his affection, good will, and include all people into his life, and always a gentleman shaking hands. Wow! is all so many of can say that God sent us a man of quality.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. treehouseron says:

    Is everyone here familiar with the story of St. Jude’s children’s research hospital?

    Danny Thomas started the hospital, children with cancer could come there and be treated, they’d bill the insurance and whatever the insurance didn’t pay the hospital would eat. They basically used the children as test trial subjects, because the families had nothing to lose, and because of that…. they’ve changed the childhood survival rate for the most common form of childhood cancer from under 10% when the hospital started, to over 90% when Danny died.

    This bill today guarantees that the same thing will happen, on a smaller less concentrated scale, to all kinds of terminal illnesses these brave families have the option now to fight, and learn from.

    This is the LORD working through the President. Period. No other explanation. Just like the LORD worked through Danny Thomas.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bendix says:

      Danny Thomas, a devout Christian, with ME ancestry. He and his family on the Make Room For Daddy show were Lebanese.
      That was decades ago. Now we hear how prejudiced America is against anyone of Arab ancestry.

      Like

  24. Dan says:

    While I appreciate Trump’s motivations I am offended by the premise behind his actions. We do not need federal permission to exercise our liberty. We need the federal government pushed back into the boundaries of the constitution. There is no constitutional authority for the existence of the FDA and their interference in our liberty is what has caused the problem. The FDA does not exist to serve the people of the US. It exists to provide protection and privilege to deep pocketed pharmaceutical companies. We should not applaud the government giving back a tiny piece of the liberty the have stolen.

    Like

    • Bendix says:

      I agree with you.
      We should not have to ask the president to do anything for us. However, this incremental pushing back is going to, in my opinion, have a ripple effect on people’s minds.
      Right now we have seen parents denied the right to even have their child looked at as a candidate for treatment, let alone treated, and large numbers of people who should know better weighing in on whether or not they thought this was okay.
      I think this is going to arrest that sickness before it spreads any further.
      Maybe that’s only wishful thinking.
      Stopping the spread of a disease is equally important in finding the cure, and this is a diseased mindset we are dealing with.

      Like

    • whodoneit says:

      This is a long time coming. I could never understand why terminal American citizens have been denied access to “unapproved” and “experimental” medications (many of which have been proven successful in other countries) for the sake of so-called safety issues. By all means – lets not compromise the health of dying US citizens! Trump has cut through the BS chains of the FDA and big pharm to reinstate the FREEDOM OF CHOISE that our Constitution calls for. Bravo Mr. President!

      Like

    • whodoneit says:

      No – but we should absolutely applaud President Trump for restoring it. Patience. He’s just getting started.

      Like

  25. Air Crew says:

    Thank you, President Trump. You are giving hope to thousands of people and quite possibly saving thousands of lives.

    Like

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