Arizona governor signs expansion to medical right to try

State lawmakers who sponsored legislation said: “Personalized medicine is the future.”

Updated: August 11, 2022 - 12:55am

The “right to try” has been expanded in Arizona.

Gov. Doug Ducey held a signing ceremony for five bills that passed with bipartisan support in this year’s legislative session. It included Senate Bill 1163, the Right to Try for Individualized Treatments.

Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, is the chief sponsor of the bill.

“Personalized medicine is the future,” Barto said in a press release from the governor’s office. “I’m proud that our state-led on ‘Right to Try’, and we will lead again, getting bureaucracy out of the way to best serve Arizonans. This legislation gives hope to those battling terrible diseases.”

Typically, new medical treatments require the Food and Drug Administration’s approval before patients can access them. However, treatments made for individuals based on their genetics cannot receive FDA approval in time to cure rare illnesses, according to the Goldwater Institute, which supported this legislation. Those treatments are the ones that this bill expanded.

“As medication research has advanced, scientists have developed new, individualized medications which weren’t included in the original Right to Try,” Ducey’s office said Tuesday. “Today’s legislation applies the same principles to personalized medications going through FDA trials, biological products, and devices.”

In committee, some lawmakers doubted the bill’s protections from lawsuits if the patient agrees to an experimental treatment and had questions about how the legislation would work with federal patient protections.

The bill passed 39-18 in the Arizona House of Representatives and 16-11 in the Senate earlier this year.