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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Should Dying Patients Have A Right To Use Experimental Drugs?
Last Featured: 4/16/2007

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Should patients who are seriously ill or dying have the legal right to try drugs that haven’t yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration? Last December the FDA proposed new guidelines that would allow access to experimental treatments on a case-by-case basis. But some health care professionals fear that access to drugs that are not yet proven safe is dangerous, unethical and disastrous for the drug approval process. Tune in to this edition of Justice Talking as we ask who should have the right to use experimental drugs.

A Patient's Story
Cancer patient Tania Stutman shares her story of being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called GIST or a gastrointestinal stromal tumor. She credits an experimental drug with extending her life. She is the founder and chairperson of the GIST Cancer Research Fund.

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Interview with a Doctor
Host Margot Adler speaks with Dr. Brian Strom about the current system of drug regulation and how the clinical trial process works.

Dr. Brian Strom is a professor of medicine and the director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of several committees advising the FDA.

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Debate on the Issue: Experimental Drugs
Host Margot Adler is joined by patient advocates Ellen Stovall and Frank Burroughs to debate whether patients should have access to drugs that haven't been approved by the FDA.

Ellen L. Stovall is a 35-year survivor of two bouts with cancer. In 1992, Ms. Stovall became president & CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the oldest survivor-led organization advocating for quality cancer care for all Americans. Ms. Stovall also is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) National Cancer Policy Forum, established in May 2005 to succeed the National Cancer Policy Board.

Frank Burroughs is president of the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs, a non-profit organization that advocates for patients' rights to use experimental drugs. In July 2003, with the help of the Washington Legal Foundation, the Abigail Alliance filed a lawsuit arguing that current FDA policy violates the constitutional privacy and liberty rights of terminally ill patients.

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The Pharmaceutical Industry's View
Host Margot Adler speaks with Alan Goldhammer about how increased access to experimental drugs would affect the pharmaceutical industry.

Alan Goldhammer, PhD is deputy vice president for regulatory affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). In this position he manages regulatory activities, maintaining a liaison with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on important pharmaceutical regulatory and safety issues.

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Interview with a Policymaker
Host Margot Adler interviews Rachel Behrman about the Federal Food and Drug Administration's recent changes to its policy on patient access to experimental drugs.

Dr. Rachel E. Behrman is the deputy director in the Office of Medical Policy at the Food and Drug Administration.

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Interview with a Lawyer
Host Margot Adler is joined by Scott Ballenger, who represented the Abigail Alliance in its case against the FDA.

Scott Ballenger is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins. Since joining Latham & Watkins in 1999, Mr. Ballenger has focused on appellate and Supreme Court litigation, with an emphasis on constitutional law. In a groundbreaking lawsuit against the FDA, Abigail Alliance v. von Eschenbach, Mr. Ballenger recently convinced the D.C. Circuit Court to recognize a new constitutional right of access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients.

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Commentary from an Oncologist

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is an oncologist and chair of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health.

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NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Abigail Alliance vs. Eschenbach (Acrobat PDF file)
U.S. v Rutherford (The Laetril case)
Federal Food and Drug Administration - Unapproved Drugs
Clinical Trials
The National Cancer Institute
Washington Legal Foundation
Food and Drug Law Institute
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Surviving "Terminal" Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won't Tell You About
by Ben A. Williams
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Is There a Right to Health Care?
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