Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is up for re-election this year in Wisconsin, just launched a new TV and digital ad highlighting the success of his “Right to Try” legislation and showcasing a real-world example of a life she saved, Breitbart News exclusively learned.
Johnson, arguably the Democrats’ top target in the 2022 U.S. Senate races, launched a television ad on Wednesday featuring Joel Webb’s story.
“At the end of October 2021, I had COVID,” Webb says in the announcement, provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release. “I was pretty sure I was at the end of my rope.”
Joel’s wife, Jennifer Webb, then says she “knew we were in trouble when we decided to get our lawyer to start getting Joel to sign end-of-life paperwork, business paperwork.”
“My last try was an experimental drug – she put me on Aviptadil,” says Joel. “The next morning when I woke up, I was a new man.”
“Thanks to Ron Johnson’s right to try bill, I have my husband today,” says Jennifer.
Johnson for years – dating back to 2014 – led the US Senate’s effort to pass Right to Try legislation, which allows terminally ill patients to try experimental medical treatments not yet approved to try to save their lives. life.
On his US Senate website, Johnson details the timeline of what ultimately led to Congress passing — and President Donald Trump signing it into law — his right to try legislation in the spring. 2018. It all started in 2014, when he met a woman. named Trickett Wendler.
Wendler, a young mother of three with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS), met with Johnson in Washington, DC. Wendler couldn’t get cutting-edge new treatments for ALS because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had yet to fully approve any breakthrough new drugs, but she faced a terminal diagnosis.
That year, five states passed right-to-try laws, but at the federal level there was still no solution. Wendler died soon after, in 2015, and several other states began to think of their own ideas, but Johnson wanted federal law. He pressed the FDA for answers on this and other cases, and while the FDA scrambled to maintain its status quo amid the bureaucratic quagmire, Johnson then introduced his own federal lawsuit legislation. try in 2016, named after Wendler.
Eventually, when Trump was elected, he backed the effort, and Johnson was able to get his proposal passed by the U.S. Senate. A companion bill in the US House also passed – which Trump signed in 2018. Trump regularly touts it as a success – it was certainly one of the most important of his presidency – but it wouldn’t be. not happen without the efforts of Johnson.
Johnson’s U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin is one of many Republicans defending in battleground states in 2022. Others include open seats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri, as well as the seat of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who is up for re-election in Florida. Democrats have launched vicious attacks on Johnson as they seek to flip that seat to retain power in the US Senate – a chamber that is currently split 50-50, that is, Democrats, since they hold the White House and Vice President Kamala Harris breaks the tie. , have the majority.
But if they were to prevail, things like these life-saving treatments might not happen, since it was Johnson who did.
On a website in which he details his efforts to get Right to Try adopted, Johnson talks about how he faced opposition from the Washington, DC swamp to get there. He describes when he first met Trickett Wendler, which is when he decided to take up the cause of Right to Try.
“Trickett was a young mother of three beautiful children, and she had recently been diagnosed with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease,” Johnson writes. “There is no known cure and the disease is always fatal. Trickett was in DC to advocate for herself and others with this horrible disease. When I mentioned meeting and supporting the Goldwater Institute’s right to try efforts, tears started rolling down Trickett’s cheeks. That’s when I decided to advocate for federal right to try legislation.
But special interests and government bureaucrats lined up against him, an obstruction that would take years of work to overcome, which he eventually did.
“I had no idea how much resistance I would encounter in the four years leading up to its final passage. Opposition to the right to try came from both Big PHARMA and the FDA,” Johnson continues. Pharmaceutical companies are rightly concerned that terminally ill patients using their experimental drugs will lead to adverse effects and prevent drugs that should be approved from gaining FDA approval. I guess it’s either his risk averse nature or the regulatory capture of the agency by Big PHARMA.