Trump Praises Record Device Approvals, Pushes Congress To Pass 'Right-To-Try' Bills
In his Jan. 30 State of the Union address, President Trump praised US FDA for its high approval rate of devices and drugs in 2017, and urged Congress to do more by approving 'right-to-try' legislation that he says would allow terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental devices and drugs.
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"Right-to-try" legislation aimed at giving severely ill patients access to drug treatments not yet approved by US FDA failed to win support from the needed super-majority in a Tuesday night vote in the US House. Before the vote, the bill's scope was narrowed by removing medical device provisions, and making it applicable only to those facing death within a matter of months. A Senate version still in play retains the device language.
President Trump's statement at a Feb. 1 Republican retreat that US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is "heading up" an effort to make "right-to-try" legislation that would permit easier access to unapproved devices and drugs is not a sign that FDA supports current bills in Congress on the topic, an FDA spokeswoman said.
Congress reached agreement Jan. 22 to end the three-day US government shutdown in a continuing resolution bill that includes a two-year device-tax suspension.