Chairman Johnson Introduces Bill to Help Terminally Ill Patients

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had this to say following the introduction of the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act of 2017 on Tuesday:

“Many of us have felt that sense of desperation — of urgency — when we learn that we or someone we love is fighting for their life,” said Johnson. “In an era of unprecedented medical innovation, we have to do more to ensure that patients facing terminal illnesses have access to potentially life-saving treatments. These patients don’t have the time to wait — often years and years — for the FDA to grant final approval.  For countless Americans facing terminal illnesses, now is the time to give them a chance to save their lives — to give them hope.”

The Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act ensures that terminally ill patients, their doctors, and pharmaceutical manufacturers are allowed to try investigational treatments when no alternatives exist.

Co-Sponsors include: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.),  Sen. Angus King (I-Maine),  Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.),  Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)

Chairman Johnson and Frank Mongiello, a father of six, and a right to try advocate with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) , wrote to Vice President-elect Mike Pence about potentially life-saving right to try legislation in January.  An excerpt from the letter is below. The full letter can be found here.

“Last May, I introduced S. 2912, the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act of 2016. I was honored to have Frank Mongiello at the press conference, and his powerful testimony moved everyone in attendance that day. I am even more honored to have Frank join me in writing this letter today,” Johnson and Mongiello wrote. “S. 2912 had the bipartisan support of 44 senators, and I will be reintroducing the legislation shortly. This bill is, and will remain, a top priority for myself and Frank. We believe that with the president-elect’s and your leadership, we can begin to remove barriers to treatment and finally provide patients with the hope they deserve.”

Learn more about the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act here.

Learn more about the right to try rally hosted by Sen. Johnson here.

Learn more about the broad support for Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act here.