White House supporting law to give terminally ill patients access to non-approved drugs

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A law that would allow terminally ill patients access to medicines not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration has earned support from President Donald Trump's administration.

Vice President Mike Pence met on Tuesday with advocates of “Right to Try” legislation, which would give patients a chance to try drugs that have reached the third FDA approval phase. The visit followed “strong support” for the law shown by both Pence and Trump during the presidential campaign, according to a release from the White House.

“Vice President Pence reiterated his belief that a Right to Try law is fundamentally about restoring hope and gives patients with terminal illnesses a fighting chance by giving them access to experimental drugs that have already passed the FDA's safety review process,” the statement reads.

Support of Right to Try legislation has also been backed up by statements from Trump arguing that “too many FDA rules in general pose unnecessary hurdles to drug approval,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Nearly half of all states have passed laws allowing similar drug access and the FDA has had its own “compassionate use” program, but advocates for the legislation say too much red tape exists when it comes to expanding access to new drugs. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing last February on Right to Try legislation.