Mesothelioma is a rare and lethal cancer commonly caused by asbestos exposure. Symptoms can take up to 50 years to appear, and the typical life expectancy upon diagnosis is 1-2 years. Mesothelioma treatments are expensive, and patients are fortunate if they are awarded damages that can pay for their life-extending care. Common medical treatments for mesothelioma patients include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and intense surgical procedures. However, there hasn’t been any new FDA-approved treatments for mesothelioma in 14 years. So, where can patients turn if the surgeries and therapies don’t work?
Treatment can be incredibly frustrating for patients suffering from mesothelioma. Currently, mesothelioma has a 0% overall survival rate. Outside of competitive clinical trials and “compassionate use” options, patients have no access to the many immunotherapy drugs slowly being approved by the FDA.
In effort to help terminally ill patients have access to new drug treatments, President Donald Trump signed the “Right to Try Act” at the end of May. Right-to-try laws currently exist in 38 states, but this bill gives patients access across the United States and eliminates the application process required by the FDA. The “Right to Try Act” allows patients to directly work with medical care providers and drug manufacturers to receive treatments that haven’t been fully approved by the FDA. However, these experimental drug options still need to be successfully tested for side effects and proper dosage restrictions before being administered to patients. Two such drugs are pembrolizumad and nivolumab. Both drugs have reported positive effects in extending the lives of mesothelioma patients.
While the “Right to Try Act” may offer hope and new drug treatment options to patients, the bill is not free from criticism. Some opponents, including the American Cancer Society, are concerned about patient safety, and worry about the detrimental effect this bill could have on the FDA. Recently, President Trump has been working to consolidate the power of government departments, and this is one of many bills currently impacting public health regulations.
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Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 if you or a loved one require legal representation in a mesothelioma case. We understand the legal challenges specific to mesothelioma cases, and have the experience to help you seek maximum compensation for your medical care needs.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P.at (877) 958-7920 to learn more about the legal options available to mesothelioma patients.