Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE URGES THE SENATE TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE TO HELP VULNERABLE CITIZENS AND STRENGTHEN THE RIGHT TO TRY ACT

Jun 15, 2018
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              Contact: Robin K. Chand

March 26, 2018                                                           202-225-3816

 

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Urges the Senate to Work Across the Aisle to Help Vulnerable Citizens and Strengthen the Right to Try Act

 

Jackson Lee:  As a cancer survivor, I empathize with patients with serious illnesses confronting difficult challenges, but H.R. 5247 is not a thoughtful response to this serious problem.  It ignores the FDA’s diligence in approving experiential trials and is overwhelmingly opposed by every major patient organization…I urge my partners in the Senate to reject this legislation and to work across the aisle to ensure that patients have access to needed treatment therapies without compromising the greatest drug safety regime in the world. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, senior Member of the House Committees on Budget, Judiciary and Homeland Security, and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, released the following statement regarding House passage of H.R. 5247, the GOP’s Right to Try Act of 2018:

“The Food and Drug Administration has been a critical force for ensuring that clinical trials for experiential treatments are available for seriously ill patients.  Last week, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed H.R. 5247, which undermines the rigorous framework laid out by the FDA in approving trial drugs to trial patients.

“The FDA’s current process in this area is not onerous or restrictive.  Seriously ill applicants seeking to avail themselves of this process may already do so in a straightforward manner.  The application process takes less than an hour and a recent study from the Government Accountability Office reveals that the FDA approves about 99 percent of trial requests submitted to the agency.  Of the 1700 trial requests submitted to the FDA, only nine were denied. 

“As a cancer survivor, I empathize with patients with serious illnesses confronting difficult challenges, but H.R. 5247 is not a thoughtful response to this serious problem.  It ignores the FDA’s diligence in approving experiential trials and is overwhelmingly opposed by every major patient organization.  In fact, a collection of over 100 patient-centered groups, including the National Organization for Rare Disorders and the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, have written to oppose this legislation.  Moreover, beyond the risks to safety, H.R. 5247 also endangers health and hospice coverage of patients.  I urge my partners in the Senate to reject this legislation and to work across the aisle to ensure that patients have access to needed treatment therapies without compromising the greatest drug safety regime in the world. 

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations

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