Forty-two percent of Americans have had a friend or relative suffer from a terminal illness in the last five years. Further, forty-two percent of these people would do anything to prevent or prolong the death of their loved one. Because of the intense, quick and dire nature of terminal illnesses, the hope for many lies in the realm of investigational new drugs (INDs), ones that have not been approved for marketing but have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing in people. These drugs have long been controversial because of their level of risk matched by their lifesaving potential. Additionally, the means by which the drugs get distributed, to whom they are distributed, who is liable for adverse outcomes, and who covers the cost of the drug are all longstanding issues involved with IND use that have been in discussion by physicians, legislators, drug manufacturers and pateients alike.
Republished with permission. The full article, "Overstepping and Underproviding: Why Right-to-Try Laws Are Not the Proper Gateway to Experimental Drugs," was published in Volume 16.1 of the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy (beginning on pg. 25).