Patients in Indiana who suffer from terminal diseases such as muscular dystrophy may now have access to experimental drugs that have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but are thought to be beneficial in reducing the burden of the disease or improving patients’ quality of life. The decision was made by Governor Mike Pence, who signed the approval for legislation that is now known as the “Right to Try” law.
The signing of the law was praised by several supporters of the decision. The “right to try” legislation enables patients who are terminally ill to be administered with medication that has passed through the first of three steps of the FDA process to approve new drugs, after being prescribed by their physicians. There is no obligation, however, for the patients’ insurance companies to cover the investigational drugs’ costs.
“I’ve signed this today with a prayer that the right to try will be a pathway toward healing for Hoosiers for generations to come,” said the Republican Governor during the ceremony. The law passed Indiana’s House and Senate with unanimous votes. The “right to try” legislation has been anticipated for a while now, particularly among the muscular dystrophy community, a disease for which there is no cure. Despite the fact that it may improve access to several drugs, the new law also raises several ethical concerns.
At the ceremony was Laura McLinn, whose five-year-old son, Jordan became a representative of the law. The boy suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Laura McLinn believes that the new regulation may help the family. “One day he’s going to be look back and hopefully say I made a really big difference being a part of that process and he’s going to be able to say he saved a life and that’s pretty awesome,” said McLinn, according to the Indiana Public Media.
The Governor further stated that the law, which will take effect immediately, is proof of the compassion Hoosiers have for each other throughout the state.