Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania enacts 'right to try' law for terminally ill

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is making Pennsylvania the 38th state to enact a "right to try" law that gives the terminally ill an avenue to try experimental treatments that aren't fully approved by the federal government.

The law, signed Wednesday, allows a manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product or medical device to provide it to a patient who has a recommendation from a treating physician and has been unable to participate in a clinical trial.

"I have supported and will continue to support legislation that gives patients power in their health care decisions," Wolf said. "At no time is that more important than when faced with a terminal illness. Having the chance to try all options can offer hope and better quality of life for many."

The law doesn't require a manufacturer to provide the treatment to a patient, or grant legal immunity to the manufacturer. It also doesn't require an insurer to cover the treatment or require a manufacturer to provide it for free.

It takes effect in 60 days.

The libertarian Arizona-based Goldwater Institute advocates for "right to try" laws.


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