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GOP senator: 'Right to try' drug bill isn't 'the Wild West'

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonCruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director Pelosi: Dems want commission focused on Capitol mob attack Pelosi jokes about Sen. 'Don' Johnson MORE (R-Wis.) argued on Hill.TV that "right to try" legislation, which gives terminally ill patients access to experimental medical treatments that haven't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is safe and regulated. 

“They’ve already passed Phase 1 Safety [trials]. Now, that isn’t the be-all end-all, but it shows it’s certainly safe enough to continue the clinical trials," Johnson, who is the chief sponsor of the bill, told Kystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"These are terminal patients, they have no other alternative. They’re facing the end of their life and it’s up to them to assess that risk, working with their doctors,” he continued.

"This isn’t the Wild West, this isn’t snake oil, these are drugs that really are promising, or else the drug manufacturers wouldn’t be engaged in the very expensive FDA process.” 

President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE signed the legislation, which was considered a major priority for congressional Republicans as well as the administration, last May.

Democrats and many public health groups have opposed the measure, saying it gives patients false hope, and could potentially put them in danger. 

“FDA oversight of access to experimental treatments exists for a reason — it protects patients from potential snake oil salesmen or from experimental treatments that might do more harm than good,”  Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said. 

— Julia Manchester