ON-Lion Letter

Should you need the government's permission to try to save your own life?  Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medications available to Americans.  But it takes an average of 10 years to bring a new drug to market.  Every day, thousands of Americans die unnecessarily from fatal diseases for which lifesaving treatments that now exist or are being developed are ruled too "dangerous" for commercial distribution.  But how does that FDA standard apply to someone in the terminal stages of cancer or ALS?

Right to Try:  How the Federal Government Prevents Americans from Getting the Lifesaving Treatments They Need, by Bradley Prize recipient Darcy Olsen, is filled with stories of heroism and heartbreak.  It tells of courageous Americans who beat illnesses no one thought could be defeated; parents who won the fight to get their children access to cutting-edge cures; patients who were denied life-saving treatments by the government ostensibly for their own protection; and incredible doctors and researchers pioneering revolutionary cures. 

Drawing on her experience fighting for patients, Olsen goes inside the federal bureaucracy that is stopping millions from accessing these lifesaving treatments, lays out the case for expanding access to experimental medicines, and describes the ongoing national campaign to change these laws state by state.

Olsen is president of the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Goldwater Institute.

Cogent and persuasive, her powerful and informative Right to Try, from HarperCollins, is a clarion call for reform that definitively answers the question:  when your mortality hangs in the balance, shouldn't you have the right to try to save your own life?

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