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News Posted on March 26, 2015

Professor Ikemoto Comments for Capitol Journal on 'Right to Try' Laws

Professor Lisa Ikemoto commented for the Capitol Journal on "right to try" laws that allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs not approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  At least 36 states have considered or filed bills to enact such laws, but there are significant problems with the idea, Ikemoto said.

"These laws only guarantee a right to try experimental drugs; they do not guarantee a right to access them," said Ikemoto. She also noted that it remains illegal to ship such drugs across state lines, and drug companies have reason to be wary of facilitating the experimental use of their products in trials not approved by the FDA.  Many observers say pressuring the FDA is the real motivation behind these laws, she said.

Lisa Ikemoto teaches bioethics and health law courses at the UC Davis School of Law.  She has written extensively on genetic and reproductive technology, the regulation of fertility and pregnancy, and race and gender disparities in health care.  Her current work examines emerging issues in regenerative medicine, including stem cell research, and the human tissues market.

Capitol Journal