Pubdate: Mon, 21 Dec 2015
Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)
Copyright: 2015 The Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
Author: Len Armstrong


"Right to Try" legislation has been passed that allows terminal 
Tennessee patients to access experimental drugs and treatments, 
provided these medicines or procedures have made it through the first 
phase of Food and Drug Administration trials.

House Bill 143 will grant Tennessee doctors the ability to prescribe 
to terminally ill patients drugs that haven't yet been fully vetted 
by the FDA, as long as they've passed phase 1 testing for safety.

Pay attention to that last statement, as it should become quite clear 
that this legislation bypasses the FDA regulatory process.

If bypassing the FDA is OK for experimental drugs and procedures, I 
would humbly request that our legislators please refrain from 
presenting an FDA argument on therapeutic cannabis for use by 
Tennesseans with chronic and terminal illness.

Though I do in fact support Tennessee's new Right to Try law, the 
reality is I couldn't afford even conventional cancer treatments if 
required, yet alone experimental drugs that will not be covered by 
health insurance.

Maybe someone should consider making therapeutic cannabis conditional 
to Right to Try legislation, perhaps also earmarking a percentile of 
the taxable revenue raised from a state medical cannabis program that 
could be applied as supplemental revenue toward state health care 
funding of some 280,000 Tennesseans who remain without health care.

Just a thought.

Len Armstrong, community action group director, Tennesseans for Safe 
Access, Lenoir City
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom