CA Governor: No Experimental Drugs for Terminal Patients

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently vetoed the state’s Right to Try Act, which passed both the state assembly and the senate with bipartisan support.
In his veto message, the governor wrote, “Patients with life-threatening conditions should be able to try experimental drugs, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s compassionate use program allows this to happen.”
If only this were true! Our previous coverage of this issue has shown the governor’s statement to be patently incorrect. As it stands now, the FDA throws numerous roadblocks and hurdles into the paths of terminally patients seeking access to experimental drugs through the FDA’s compassionate use program. The FDA can even revoke permission after it is granted.
This is, by definition, a life-or-death issue, and it is an outrage that state and federal bureaucrats are standing in the way of a person’s right to try to save his or her life, even with the guidance of qualified doctors.


  1. By definition (almost)
    Government’s purpose is to try and stop things—If stopping murder is good, then so is Government—If stopping trying a last step to saves one’s life is bad, then Government is bad. Governments should stay OUT of people’s lives, unless the people affected are hurting others.

  2. Oh, if this author understood how early access really works. Expanded Access (not “compassionate use”) is the legal channel to provide patients access to investigational drugs. Gov. Brown is right. There are minimal regulatory barriers. The first fraud of these “Right To Try” bills is that they dupe patients into thinking that their passage has anything to do legal access to unapproved drugs – it does not, because all pharmaceutical commerce in the U.S. is governed Federally. No patient has ever gained drug access from a state’s “Right To Try” law, and no patient ever will. The second fraud is the ignorance of the real decision maker in patient access, and that is the drug company. Expanded Access is underutilized, not because FDA stands in the way, but because it is simply too costly and cumbersome for small drug companies (the kind of companies who usually develop new drugs for breakthrough diseases). This populist initiative has good intentions, but is the rambunctious two year old interfering with the much older work to make real Expanded Access solutions feasible for millions of patients.

  3. California is now standing in the way of basic life saving health care, their MediCal offices are now “Senior Help Centers” staffed only by a receptionist! Not only that, they are offering people, some live in their trucks and most can hardly keep from becoming homeless and falling into terminal illness for lack of care, LOANS! Okay, I’ll take one, I’ll take anything that will allow me to live in my body and not scream in writhing pain!

  4. My state: the medical dictatorship. No exaggeration involved – medical dictatorship. Anti-United States legislation all over the place here.

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