On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her vote YES on the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. The bill would allow certain patients with a terminal illness or life-threatening condition to have access to potentially lifesaving drugs when no other alternatives exist.
A similar bill was originally introduced in the Senate over a year ago and was titled the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act. Trickett was a wife and mother who succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” and was prohibited by federal law from seeking experimental drugs that could have saved her life. Since then, its name grew to include three other individuals who are still fighting for their lives, and whose lives might be saved by access to experimental drugs that the bill would allow. This remains the full name of the bill now in the House, honoring those who will be positively impacted by this legislation.
Frank Mongiello is a father of six in Pennsylvania fighting ALS. Jordan McLinn is an eight-year-old boy in Indiana fighting muscular dystrophy. Matthew Belina is a U.S. Navy veteran, husband, and father of two fighting ALS. Although it is too late for Trickett Wendler, her family hopes that right to try will give others one last shot at saving their own lives, the lives of family members, and the lives of friends.
“We don’t have time and we don’t have years to wait,” Wendler’s daughter, Tealyn, told a Green Bay-based television station last year. “It feels like you’re stuck, like the government is in charge of your life, and they haven’t been in your shoes either.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process is long and costly, and patients like Frank, Jordan, and Matthew who need access to experimental drugs now don’t have time to wait on the federal bureaucracy.
The Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act amends federal law that currently prohibits the production and prescription of potentially lifesaving drugs that have already cleared the initial phase of the FDA’s approval process to allow certain patients with a terminal illness or a life-threatening condition access to these drugs. It also provides protection for manufacturers and prescribers from liability.
As Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the sponsor of related bill H.R. 878 who had fought for the passage of a federal right to try law, said in a press release, “All Americans have the right and freedom to try to save their lives. The Right to Try Act is a significant bipartisan endeavor, having become law in 38 states. In 2014, Arizona voters passed this law with almost 80 percent of the vote. I am pleased that, after years in the making, this policy is being considered on the House floor tomorrow. Our bill will give some relief to terminally-ill patients who have no further options left to extend their lives, including Jordan McLinn, Trickett Wendler, Bertrand Might, Matt Bellina, and Diego Morris. These individuals – and countless others – deserve this hope.”
FreedomWorks calls on Congress to honor Trickett Wendler and her family and give hope to Americans like Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina who may be running out of options by voting for right to try. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her vote YES on the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. FreedomWorks will count the vote our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks