WASHINGTON — A key Republican lawmaker released a new version of so-called “right to try” legislation around midnight Friday, a pivotal next step in the effort to help dying patients get access to experimental therapies.
The legislation, from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), is more limited than an earlier measure championed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that passed the Senate last fall. Walden’s version would ensure that the Food and Drug Administration has more oversight of the process. Like the Senate bill, it includes liability protections for drug companies and providers who decide to use the process. Walden’s bill also limits the process to patients who are likely to die “within a matter of months” or “severely premature.”