Lucas Richert is a Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Conservatism, Consumer Choice, and the FDA during the Reagan Era: A Prescription for Scandal, which examined pharmaceutical regulation in the 1970s-1980s, winner of the 2015 British Association for American Studies Arthur Miller Prize. He is the Co-Editor in Chief of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs and author of the forthcoming Strange Medicines: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018).

“Right to Try” (Again): A history of the experimental therapy movement

In recent weeks and months, momentum has increased on Capitol Hill to craft “right to try” laws that would profoundly change the medical landscape. The national legislation will allow terminally ill patients more access to experimental therapies (drugs, biologics, devices) that have completed Phase 1 testing. Powerful pharmaceutical and biotech concerns have been largely quiet. The Trump administration, for its part, has underlined the issue, not only in the State of the Union Address but in VP Mike Pence’s active support. Continue reading