The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

FDA more efficient now, not less

While Carolyn Long Engelhard identifies multiple concerns regarding the real-world impact of state “right-to-try” laws (“Are ‘right-to-try’ laws good medicine or partisan politics?” Sept. 9, The Hill’s Contributors blog), she mischaracterizes the Food and Drug Administration’s expanded access program as “cumbersome, time-consuming and [taking] months.” In fact, this past June, the FDA streamlined the application process for expanded access for an individual patient so that it generally takes only 45 minutes. Moreover, emergency applications are typically processed over the phone, and nonemergency applications are acted on in a median of four days. The FDA allows more than 99 percent of applications to proceed, although a significant number proceed with FDA-suggested modifications to reduce patient risk.

{mosads}Every year, more than a thousand patients gain access to investigational drugs through the FDA’s expanded access process. They do so without undermining the clinical trials development process, which, in the end, is the best way to get safe and effective medications to the largest number of patients.

From Peter Lurie, associate commissioner for public health strategy and analysis, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Md.

Saudi-9/11 bill could bring justice

On Sept. 12, 2016, the Senate moved a controversial bill that would permit the families of victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia’s government for damages. But the Saudis, who deny contributing to the 2001 attack, vigorously object to the bill and said that the legislation runs against the principles of international law and set a destructive precedent for foreign relations. The White House has indicated that President Obama will veto the law over concerns that it won’t protect the U.S. from such lawsuits from other countries.

We are happy that the U.S. government has taken this step forth to provide justice to the families of the victims of 9/11. There are always political and diplomatic considerations that are witnessed on the way to justice, but if a court proves that Saudis are perpetrators for 9/11, they should be held accountable. If not, they shouldn’t be worried about anything.

I hope the families who have suffered so much loss and confronted so many hurdles will be given justice through this legislation.

From Zeeshan Nasir, Turbat, Kech

US should reflect on Israel support

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has released a video telling the people of the world that Palestinians want to ethnically cleanse a Palestinian state of Jews. But he pretends to be unaware that in 1947 there was a Jewish plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. In spite of the United Nations resolution to allow those forced into refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza into Israel, that plan is ongoing — even after the Oslo agreement.

Now, support groups of a foreign Zionist government want us to agree with a devastating military attack on those Palestinians still holding out in their homeland (“Israeli victory is the only way to advance peace process,” Sept. 9). Such is the power of these agents that the presidential candidates vow to support Israel without question. No heed is given to the decisions of the U.N. or the requirements of international law. High-quality propaganda and control of the U.S. media have influenced public opinion here, and similar efforts in other countries have great success.

But just as with the U.S. success in destroying Iraq, the unintended consequences can be costly.

From Edward Briody, Jackson Heights, N.Y. 


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