Chairman Johnson Advocates for Right To Try Legislation at Capitol Hill Rally

WASHINGTON Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, spoke at a rally Thursday afternoon advocating for right to try legislation along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). He urged his fellow senators to support the Trickett Wendler Right To Try Act, which he introduced in May and which now has 24 cosponsors. Right to try legislation is a nationwide bipartisan effort to ensure that terminally ill patients, their doctors, and pharmaceutical manufacturers are allowed to administer investigational treatments where no alternative exists.

“Across the nation, we are seeing a groundswell of support for the idea that patients deserve the right to try. Thirty states now have enacted right to try legislation, which gives patients and doctors the freedom to try investigational treatments that have passed phase 1 of the FDA’s approval process, if they have exhausted all other treatment options. 

“Federal legislation is required to ensure the FDA does not interfere with those state laws.  That is why I am sponsoring federal right to try legislation. I am honored to be joined by 24 of my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring this legislation.  This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it is a human rights issue, and I hope all of my colleagues will join me in supporting this critical bill.

“The bill is named after Trickett Wendler from Waukesha, Wisconsin. I met her two years ago.  Trickett lost her fight with ALS.  But we are honoring her memory by fighting to give all terminally ill patients the hope they deserve, and the right to try to save their lives.”

The 24 cosponsors of the Trickett Wendler Right To Try Act are Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), Sen. Orrin Hatch  (R-Utah), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Watch video highlights from Johnson’s introduction of the Right To Try bill here.

The bill text can be found here.