Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs

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The Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs was established in November 2001 by Frank Burroughs in memory of his daughter, Abigail.[1] The Alliance seeks broader availability of investigational drugs on behalf of terminally ill patients. It believes that patients have a right to decide, for themselves, whether to take an investigational drug that the FDA has approved for clinical trials. The FDA currently[when?] restricts access to those drugs to patients in clinical trials and patients who get a compassionate use exemption, which the Abigail Alliance believes is unduly burdensome.[2]

The Abigail Alliance is best known for a legal case, which it lost, Abigail Alliance v. von Eschenbach, in which it was represented by the Washington Legal Foundation. On August 7, 2007, in an 8–2 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed an earlier ruling in favor of the Alliance.[3]

In 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear their appeal[4] This decision left standing the appellate court decision that terminally ill patients have no legal right to demand "a potentially toxic drug with no proven therapeutic benefit".

The Abigail Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated in Virginia in 2001.


  1. ^ Phillips, Lisa (4 September 2008). "Contract Law and Ethical Issues Underscore the Latest Lawsuit About Access to Experimental Drugs for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy" (PDF). Neurology Today. 8 (17): 20. doi:10.1097/01.nt.0000337676.20893.50. 
  2. ^ United States Court of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit, No. 04-5350, Abigail Alliance v. Von Eschenbach, En Banc brief of Appellants, March 1, 2007
  3. ^ "Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews". Consumer Health Digest. National Council Against Health Fraud (#07-30). 7 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "No right to experimental drugs for dying patients: Supreme Court". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 

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