2017 Legislative Initiatives

Right to Try Act of 2017-S.204 and H.R.878- 115th Congress -2017-2018

By Mike Sosna- for Long Island TRIO
Published on January 8, 2018

The Right To Try act was approved in the United States Senate.

The idea is to remove obstacles set up by the Food and Drug Administration that some say may prevent pharmaceutical companies from initiating or expanding compassionate care programs. The bill’s aim is to require the federal government to allow manufacturing and access to treat a patient with a terminal illness. In these cases, the drug is already approved under state law and was restricted by the FDA. The federal government will allow use of these treatments if a patient’s physician states and certifies that they first tried all other treatment options.

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As veterans die while waiting for organ transplants, Texans lead fight to fix VA policy

Published on July 5, 2017

The number of veterans who have died waiting for a transplant is “in the thousands,” according to estimates by self-proclaimed whistleblower Jamie McBride, the program manager for solid organ transplantation for the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System. Since 2012, McBride has been working to expose issues with transplant policy, taking his concerns to the the offices of the inspector general, medical inspector, and secretary of veterans affairs.

When Charles Nelson — a disabled Army veteran from Leander — learned he would need a kidney transplant, his son volunteered.

Coty Nelson, 28, was a perfect match. And the Nelsons qualified for a program called Veterans Choice that let them receive care at a local facility instead of traveling out of state to a Veterans Affairs transplant center.

But Coty isn’t a veteran — so that means they couldn’t get coverage under the program.

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