Senator Joe Donnelly

Companion to Donnelly’s ‘Right to Try’ Legislation Passes U.S. House

Washington, D.C. – A companion to U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s ‘Right to Try’ legislation passed the House of Representatives today on a bipartisan 267-149 vote. In late January, Donnelly called on the House to take action. The House bill is an amended version of the legislation that Donnelly introduced with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), which passed the Senate in August 2017.  

The bill, which President Trump mentioned in his State of the Union in January, would allow terminally ill patients who have exhausted all approved treatment options to access certain investigational drugs for treatment. Nearly forty states have passed right to try bills. 

Donnelly said, “I’m very pleased that the House has passed this bipartisan legislation, because families deserve the right to try and access potentially life-saving, clinically tested medical treatment to treat terminally ill loved ones. I look forward to getting this across the finish line as soon as possible, so that Hoosier families can access these treatment options before time runs out.” 

Donnelly first met Indianapolis resident Laura McLinn and her son Jordan McLinn—who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease with no cure—in early 2016. Donnelly has met with the McLinn family many times and worked closely with them to advance this legislation. 

In October 2017, Donnelly and Johnson sent the House Energy and Commerce Committee a letter urging it to pass the bill. The Donnelly-Johnson bill that passed the Senate in August can be found here. Vice President Pence and the White House also indicated their support of right to try earlier this year.

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