Is ‘Right to Try’ the right move?

One of my closest friends got inflammatory breast cancer, one of the fastest growing and most fatal of all possible breast cancers.  Like so many others, she could not understand how she could have gotten cancer.  She never smoked, ate a healthy diet, had always been healthy.  How was this possible?  Cancer does not care.  She had excellent health insurance through her job with the federal government who gave her access to phenomenal care and treatment which many lesser coverages would have prohibited.  This gave her, however, only 18 months before she died.  Others might have died in less than six months. One day she called me and asked if I could help her identify a facility in Germany that was offering an alternative treatment for cancer that was not allowed in the US but was rumored to have offered some degree of success. I wanted badly to help my friend, but this sounded so risky!  And I told her so.  Her reply was immediate: Betty, I am dying.  I will do anything if I could beat this, and live.  Who was I to refuse this help?  And that underscores the debate around Right to Try.  It seems to make sense, yes?  Or does it.  I could not write a better article than that written by Dr. Diana Zuckerman, founder and CEO of National Center for Health Research. It was through this center that I received training for learning how to give the very limited consumer testimony before the FDA for clinical studies and trials.  The National Center for Health Research has taken a firm stand against Right to Try and state their reasons why.  Please read; it makes sense!  It is not about refusing care; it is about accessing avenues for experimental drugs that are already there!  Who truly benefits from Right to Try?  Read and find out.

Betty K. Tonsing, Ph.D., CFRE

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