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Gov. Sununu urges Congress to pass 'right-to-try' bill

Staff Report
May 21. 2018 7:59PM




CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu is leading a group of nine governors in urging Congress to get so-called “right-to-try” legislation to the President’s desk.

Sununu also sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., asking them to support a bill working its way through Congress.

The bill, if signed into law, would allow critically ill patients to bypass drug regulators and gain access to experimental treatments.

“Gridlock in Washington remains the only barrier standing between terminally ill patients and the hope they both need and deserve,” the letter to Congress states. “These patients and their families have no more time to waste.”

In addition to Sununu, it’s signed by the governors of Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota and Guam.

In his letter to Shea-Porter and Kuster, Sununu points out that many of the drugs awaiting final FDA approval have been proven safe for years. The FDA can take up to 15 years to finally approve a new drug for the general public.

Colorado was the first state to pass a right-to-try law in 2014. New Hampshire and 39 other states followed suit and enacted their own version of right-to-try.

Despite right-to-try legislation passing both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., differences in the bills have prevented one from reaching the President’s desk.

Issues that have complicated the process include ensuring access to hospice and insurance coverage for patients who choose unapproved drugs or therapies, and liability protection for drug companies whose products may be used before final FDA approval.

“These issues are not insurmountable and can be resolved quickly,” according to Sununu.

“Terminally ill patients and their families deserve nothing less.”


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