Contact: Rep. Don Vruwink, (608) 266-3790

“Right to Try” Act Will Allow More Use of Experimental Drug

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill today that was inspired by a Milton native and mother of three.

Trickett (Fewell) Wendler died of ALS in 2015 at the age of 41. Her father died of the same disease at the same age.

Trickett became an advocate for ALS research and for legislation that would make it easier for patients to access medications that have not received final approval of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Since Trickett’s death, her older daughter Tealyn has been an advocate for this legislation at both the state and federal level. She testified at public hearings in both the State Assembly and State Senate.

“Tealyn has really taken up the torch where her mother left off,” said her father, Tim Wendler.

Tim Wendler and his three children, Tealyn a high school freshman, Tanner (age 12), and Torynn (age 10) attended the bill signing, along with State Rep. Don Vruwink.

Vruwink taught both Tim and Trickett at Milton High School. Vruwink coached Tim in basketball; Trickett was a student aide in Vruwink’s social studies office. Tim and his children now live in Pewaukee.

Wisconsin Senate Bill 84 creates a method by which patients may use an investigational drug, device, or biological product. The option is available to patients with a life-threatening disease or condition as defined by FDA regulations on investigational drug applications.

The option is available if the patient has exhausted approved treatment options and is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the investigational drug, device or product. Manufacturers of the investigational treatments must submit to the FDA an annual summary of the use of the drug or product.

While the bill is now law in Wisconsin and many other states, the federal version is still working its way through Congress. The U.S. Senate passed the Trickett Wendler Right to Try Act. The House of Representatives passed a slightly different version last week. One of the bills must pass both houses for it to become federal law.

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