Johnson Calls on House to Include Right to Try in FDA Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement calling on House leadership to include right to try language in the House FDA Reauthorization bill:  

“I have spoken with House leadership and Chairman Walden over the last several weeks and encouraged them to support incorporating Right to Try legislation in the FDA reauthorization bill that is set to pass the House on Wednesday. It is my hope that they will support the millions of Americans and their families suffering from terminal illnesses by including right to try language in this bill.

“In January I reintroduced the ‘Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act’ which now has 46 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, and have worked with my colleagues to craft language to improve the bill and garner additional support, including from HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander. If the House bill comes to the Senate without right to try language in it, I will have no choice but to object to any unanimous consent agreements related to it or any related bill unless right to try is added or the Senate is given an opportunity to vote on my right to try bill as an amendment. It is time to stand up for terminally ill patients who just want reclaim their freedom by having the right to try and save their own lives – who want the right to hope.”

Last December the Senate took up the ‘21st Century Cures Act’ without consideration of right to try language despite it having 43 bipartisan cosponsors. Nonetheless Chairman Johnson did not object and voted in favor of the final bill. In January Chairman Johnson re-introduced the Trickett Wendler Right To Try Act, the chairman’s right to try work can be found below.

Vice-President Pence and the White House also indicated their support of Right to Try earlier this year.

Feb. 18, 2016: Chairman Johnson’s letter to the FDA can be found here.

Feb. 25, 2016: Chairman Johnson held a hearing on connecting patients to new and potential life saving treatments.

Feb. 25, 2016: Chairman Johnson expressed his support for right to try.

March 16, 2016: Letter from Sens. Johnson, Carper, Donnelly and Coats to the FDA on can be found here.

April 26, 2016: Chairman Johnson’s statement on an FDA panel not approving eteplirsen can be found here.

May 10, 2016: Chairman Johnson introduced the Trickett Wendler Right To Try Act.

May 20, 2016: Chairman Johnson’s and Sen. Coats’ letter to the FDA can be found here.

June 16, 2016: Chairman Johnson advocates for right to try legislation at a Capitol Hill rally.

Sept. 16, 2016: Chairman Johnson’s and Sen. Alexander’s letter to the FDA can be found here.

Sept. 19, 2016: Chairman Johnson letter to FDA Commissioner Califf expressing disappointment at his refusal to testify at a right to try hearing.

Sept. 19, 2016Johnson applauds an FDA decision to approve eteplirsen to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Sept. 22, 2016: Chairman Johnson held a hearing on right to try.

Sept. 22, 2016: Johnson Calls on Fellow Senators to Pass Bill to Give Terminally Ill Patients Hope

Sept. 26, 2016: Johnson Calls on Senate to Support Right To Try Legislation.

Sept. 28, 2016: Johnson Criticizes Partisan Blocking of Bill for Terminally Ill Patients

Sept. 29, 2016: Johnson Corrects the Record in Letter to Minority Leader Reid After Right to Try Bill is Blocked

Oct. 24, 2016: After FDA’s Silence, Johnson Presses HHS For Answers On Right To Try Laws

Nov. 16, 2017: 44th Senator co-sponsors legislation giving terminally ill patients hope.

Jan. 24, 2017: Chairman Johnson re-introduces Tricket Wendler Right to Try Act with 39 original co-sponsors.