Yesterday, Governor Paul LePage (R) signed LD 180, “An Act To Allow Terminally Ill Patients To Use Experimental Treatments,” making Maine the 25th state to join the growing Right-to-Try movement.
As previously reported in The Maine Wire, this new law, terminally ill patients in Maine will have the right to use treatments that are going through the Federal Food and Drug Administration approval process to try and continue living with the consent of their physician.
Senator Eric Brakey, a co-sponsor of this important bill, explained that “When someone is terminally ill, they are likely out of traditional options or close to it. With Right-to-Try as the law of the land, patients have the ability to work with their doctors to determine if there is a treatment option available that may fit their needs. At that far stage of an illness, patients, doctors and families should be making decisions – not the government.”
While the need for drug safety is essential, the process for FDA approval in this country is wrought with bureaucracy and red tape that erect insurmountable barriers and prohibit potentially life-saving drugs from ever making it to consumers.
Even though the FDA has stated that they are “committed to streamlining the process” to allow terminally-ill patients access to certain medications that are in the process of obtaining FDA approval, many states around the country have taken matters into their own hands by passing Right-to-Try legislation to send a clear message to Washington, D.C.
Republicans and Democrats both agree that it is not right to allow unnecessary road blocks to limit potential life-saving treatments for Mainers who are dying. We would like to thank Senator Brakey, Governor LePage and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for coming together to make Maine the first state in the northeast to join this humanitarian effort.