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  1. Learn About Expanded Access and Other Treatment Options

Right to Try

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The Right to Try Act, or the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act, was signed into law May 30, 2018. This law is another way for patients who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases or conditions who have tried all approved treatment options and who are unable to participate in a clinical trial to access certain unapproved treatments.

Clinical trials provide information about whether a product is safe to use and can effectively treat or prevent a disease. People may have many reasons for participating in clinical trials. In addition to contributing to medical knowledge, some people participate in clinical trials because there is no treatment for their disease, treatments they tried have not worked, or they are not able to tolerate the current treatments.

For patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases or conditions, the FDA remains committed to enhancing access to promising investigational medicines for those unable to access investigational medical products through clinical trials. This is the mission of our expanded access program. The agency is dedicated to these purposes, and it has been for more than three decades.

Building on our long-standing efforts to help patients and families who are facing life-threatening diseases or conditions, the FDA is providing information for patients on the Right to Try Act. FDA’s role in implementation of the Right to Try Act is largely focused on those obligations outlined in the law, which is limited to receipt and posting of certain information submitted regarding Right to Try use.

The Right to Try Act permits/allows eligible patients to have access to eligible investigational drugs.

An eligible patient is a patient who has:

  • Been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or condition
  • Exhausted approved treatment options and is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the eligible investigational drug (this must be certified by a physician who is in good standing with their licensing organization or board and who will not be compensated directly by the manufacturer for certifying)
  • And has provided, or their legally authorized representative has provided, written informed consent regarding the eligible investigational drug to the treating physician

An eligible investigational drug is an investigational drug:

  • For which a Phase 1 clinical trial has been completed
  • That has not been approved or licensed by the FDA for any use
  • For which an application has been filed with the FDA or is under investigation in a clinical trial that is intended to form the primary basis of a claim of effectiveness in support of FDA approval and is the subject of an active investigational new drug application submitted to the FDA
  • Whose active development or production is ongoing, and that has not been discontinued by the manufacturer or placed on clinical hold by the FDA

If you are interested in Right to Try, you should discuss this pathway with your licensed physician. Companies who develop and make drugs and biologics, also known as sponsors, can provide information about whether their drug/biologic is considered an eligible investigational drug under Right to Try and if they are able to provide the drug/biologic under the Right to Try Act. Ultimately, sponsors developing drugs for life-threatening diseases or conditions are responsible for determining whether to make their products available to patients who qualify for access under the Right to Try Act.

The full text of the Right to Try Act, Public Law 115-176, can be found on US Congress’s website: Public Law 115-176.


Key FDA Contact Information

For specific questions on:

  • Investigational Drugs: CDER’s Division of Drug Information - 301-796-3400 or druginfo@fda.hhs.gov
  • Investigational Biologics: CBER’s Office of Communication, Outreach and Development - 240-402-8020 or 800-835-4709 or Industry.biologics@fda.hhs.gov

For general questions, or if you are unsure of whom to contact, contact the Patient Affairs Staff - 301-796-8460 or patientaffairs@fda.hhs.gov.

FDA is available to answer questions regarding the Right to Try Act. Patients with specific Right To Try requests should consult their physician.

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