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Author Archive: Alison Bateman-House

03/11/2015

“Right to Try” Laws, Compassionate Use, and Adverse Events: A Second Cautionary Tale

by Alison, Bateman-House, Ph.D., MPH

In 2014, Colorado became the first state to debate and then pass a so-called “Right to Try” law. In early 2015, there are now five states that have such laws: Colorado, Michigan, Louisiana, Arizona, and Missouri. The Utah and Virginia state legislatures have passed their own right to try laws, both of which await signature by their respective governors, and over twenty other states are actively debating right to try legislation.

These right to try state laws are based on a model bill that was circulated by the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Arizona.…

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03/08/2015

Drug Development, Compassionate Use, and Adverse Events: A Cautionary Tale

by Alison, Bateman-House, Ph.D., MPH

In late September 2014, a man was admitted to the hospital due to vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Suffering from a viral infection with no known cure, he was given an experimental antiviral medicine; unfortunately, he died. Maybe the experimental medicine did not work. Alternatively, maybe the man was too ill by the time the drug was administered for anything, no matter how effective, to work.

This patient’s name was Thomas Eric Duncan, and he captured media headlines as the first person to die of Ebola in the United States. The fact that his doctors tried an experimental drug called Brincidofovir on him also captured headlines, with his unfortunate fate directly impacting Chimerix, the small biotech company developing the antiviral drug.…

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