CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Mar. 6, 2015) – On Wednesday, the Wyoming House and Senate gave final approval to a bill that would nullify in practice some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that prevent treatments from being used by terminally ill patients. The votes were 58-1 and 28-1, respectively, and the bill now moves to Gov. Mead’s desk for a signature.
Introduced by Sen. Bruce Burns (R-Sheridan), Senate File 3 (SF3) ,the Wyoming Right to Try Act, is the latest pushback against the FDA and their controversial methodology of withholding experimental treatments from people even on their deathbed.
If signed into law, a patient suffering from a terminal disease attested to by a physician and who has considered all other approved treatment options would be able to try experimental treatments or drugs not yet approved by the FDA, effectively nullifying this narrow, but important set of federal restrictions.
Physicians are protected under the bill as well. SF3 reads in part:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Wyoming state board of medicine shall not revoke, fail to renew, suspend or take any other action against a physician’s license issued pursuant to W.S. 33-26-101 et seq., based solely on the physician’s recommendations to an eligible patient regarding access to or treatment with an investigational drug, biological product or device, as long as the recommendations are consistent with medical standards of care.
SF3 makes up part of a greater trend sweeping the nation. During this most recent November election, Arizona residents approved Prop. 303, known as the Arizona Terminal Patients’ Right to Try Referendum. The proposition allows investigational drugs, biological products or devices to be made available to eligible terminally ill patients, not permitted under the FDA.
Legislatures in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Louisiana, have already passed Right to Try Laws similar to the Arizona amendment, and more than 20 states are considering such measures in 2015.
Although these laws only address one small aspect of FDA regulation, they provide us with a clear model demonstrating how to nullify federal statutes that violate the Constitution. The strategy narrows the influence of nullification to limited aspects of the law itself. The strategy works because it focuses on ending specific federal policies large numbers of Americans from across the political spectrum oppose.
SF3 now moves to the Governor’s desk for approval, where Gov. Mead will have until Mar. 21 to sign or veto the bill or it will become law without his signature.
In Wyoming: Support this bill by following the action steps at THIS LINK
In Other States: Take the steps to get a similar bill passed in your state at this link.
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