Bipartisan legislation giving patients with terminal illness access to potentially lifesaving
treatments was signed into law by President Trump Wednesday at the White House.
The Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn and Matthew Bellina Right to
Try Act, S 204, is a companion bill to Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s Right to Try
Congressman Fitzpatrick was joined by ‘Right to Try’ advocates at the White House,
including the bill’s namesake Matt Bellina and Frank Mongiello of Bucks County.
“Today, we witnessed American history when the President signed our Right to Try bill
into law. After years of debate and relentless work by Right to Try advocates around the
nation, American patients and families facing an unimaginable terminal illness now have
the opportunity to fight for their lives and the lives of their loved ones,
“They deserve the chance to try whatever option is available. or patients who might not
qualify for certain clinical trials, or who have exhausted all their options,” Fitzpatrick
Although the FDA has a program that allows terminal patients to apply for early access to
a promising treatment, Right to Try is needed because the FDA compassionate-use
process isn’t far reaching enough, the congressman added. Only about 1,200 people a
year make it through the application process, the Congressman said.
Advancing this policy has been a longtime priority for Fitzpatrick and Vice President
Pence, who signed Indiana’s Right to Try law while serving as governor. It also has been
a priority for President Trump, who called for the bill’s passage in his State of the Union
Address earlier this year.
(The initial effort to pass Right to Try legislation began in the previous and last term of
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who retired. )