Monday, January 12, 2015 | One comment

HB94: The Right to Try Life-Saving Treatments


This bill passed the House 72-1 and passed the Senate unanimously. It was subsequently signed into law by Governor Herbert.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

No politician or bureaucrat should stand between doctor and patient. Unfortunately, the bloated Food and Drug Administration often does just that, tying up new products and potentially life-saving remedies in its lengthy and costly processes. New legislation introduced in Utah seeks to fix this problem, and provide terminal patients access to investigational drugs.

House Bill 94, sponsored by Representative Gage Froerer, would allow eligible patients to “obtain an investigational drug [or device] through an agreement with the investigational drug’s [or device’s] manufacturer and the eligible patient’s physician.” In short, dying people hoping to save their life, or simply increase its quality, would have access under this legislation to drugs and devices that have completed basic safety testing, but have not yet received the FDA’s full approval.

Rep. Froerer’s bill is based on model legislation from the Goldwater Institute, which has been successfully passed in several states, including Goldwater’s home state of Arizona.

In an op-ed written for the Standard Examiner, Rep. Froerer, along with Jonathan Johnson of Overstock.com, argue that their bill “gives new hope to those previously without hope.”

Individuals do not have the right to prevent their neighbors from ingesting or using substances that may medically benefit them, and therefore lack the authority to delegate this power to the state. As such, government may not legitimately interpose itself between doctor and patient; extricating bureaucrats from this private medical relationship is an important step in protecting liberty and preserving life. Libertas Institute supports House Bill 94 and encourages the Utah legislature to vote in its favor.


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