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Medicine Politics Popular culture

“Right-to-try” in 2019: Still a failure, still all about the Benjamins (and weakening the FDA)

Federal “right-to-try” legislation was passed and signed into law by President Trump over a year ago. Advocates promised that lots of terminally ill people who were dying then would be saved by having the right to “try” experimental therapies outside of the context of clinical trials. That has not happened. This should come as no surprise, because right-to-try was never about getting experimental drugs to dying patients. It was always about weakening the FDA and making money.

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Politics

“Right to try”: A miserable failure thus far

I’ve frequently called “right to try” laws that are popping up in various states like so much kudzu, to the point where 31 states have passed them in a little over two years, an amazing pace, a cruel sham, given how incredibly unlikely they are to help a single patient. Basically, state-level right-to-try laws are […]

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Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

The “only 6%” gambit: The latest viral COVID-19 disinformation

While Orac’s been away, there’s arisen a new bit of COVID-19 disinformation that deceptively claims that “only 6%” of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were really due to coronavirus. It turns out that this is QAnon disinformation.

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Bad science Bioethics Medicine Politics Popular culture Quackery

The cruel sham that is federal right-to-try has passed. Let patients beware!

“Right-to-try” laws are a cruel sham that purport to allow terminally ill patients access to promising experimental drugs. In reality, they strip away many protections and leave vulnerable patients on their own. After four years and a number of toothless state laws, a federal version of “right-to-try” has passed Congress and is poised to become law. Once President Trump signs the bill this week, this federal version of “right-to-try” will leave terminally ill patients on their own and will likely be the first step in returning the FDA to its pre-thalidomide state, in which it only required evidence of safety, not efficacy, to approve drugs.

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Bioethics Medicine Politics Popular culture Skepticism/critical thinking

Right-to-try: A bait and switch intended to weaken the FDA

On Wednesday, President Trump signed a federal right-to-try bill into law with great fanfare, making extravagant claims for it. It’s time to reiterate one last time that right-to-try will not help terminally ill patients but it will strip important protections from them. It’s pure snake oil.