Lucid News Report: Terminally Ill Patients Fight for Access to Psilocybin Under Federal “Right to Try” Act

Here’s the introduction to their article

Does the federal “Right To Try” Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, signed into law by President Trump, with 41 state enactments, give terminally ill patients access to experimental medicines still in development? Yes. But the Drug Enforcement Agency is barring access to one such experimental medicine: psilocybin, also known in its fungal form as “magic mushrooms.”

Erinn Baldeschwiler, a Washington state mother of two in the final months of metastatic breast cancer, has been denied access to psilocybin by the DEA, even though she is suffering with the knowledge she won’t live long enough to raise her children. The door to this treatment was closed to her despite the “Right to Try” Act and well-documented medical research showing psilocybin provides relief from the debilitating anxiety and depression that many terminally ill patients experience.

A lawyer representing Baldeschwiler and her palliative care physician sought judicial intervention to help her access the drug as allowed by state and federal law. The attorney, Kathryn Tucker, lodged the challenge to the DEA’s response with a petition for review before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The filing, she explained, was to clarify, “Is the DEA going to comply with duly enacted state and federal law and allow access to psilocybin therapy?” Baldeschwiler’s doctor, Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., co-founder of an integrative oncology clinic in Seattle, had requested the psilocybin for Baldeschwiler and another patient with advanced cancer under the terms of state and federal “Right to Try” Acts. The other terminally ill patient in that court case is Michal Bloom, a Department of Justice attorney, forced to leave work because of advanced ovarian cancer and multiple complications.

But on January 31, 2022, the legal effort hit a dead end. The court dodged the issue by dismissing the case, holding that the DEA’s refusal to allow the dying women’s integrative oncology clinic access to psilocybin was insufficiently “final” for purposes of judicial review.


Terminally Ill Patients Fight for Access to Psilocybin Under Federal “Right to Try” Act

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