(VitalNews.org) – After a judge suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the abortion drug mifepristone, big pharma is fighting back. More than 300 executives from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries published an open letter on April 10 calling on US courts to reverse the judge’s ruling and allow mifepristone to be sold again.
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling undercut the authority of the FDA, the letter states, while claiming that the ruling is also at odds with scientific evidence and legal precedent. Signatories include Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who was the first to sign the letter. Most of the other 300 signatures are from smaller pharmaceutical firms.
“We call for the reversal of this decision to disregard science,” the letter states, calling for a return to focusing on its “mandate for the safety and efficacy of medicines for all.”
The actual drafters of the letter were Shehnaaz Suliman, CEO of ReCode Therapeutics, Amanda Banks, co-founder of Blackfynn, and Jeremy Levin, CEO of Ovid Therapeutics. Levin is also the past chairman of the biotech lobbying firm BIO.
The letter claims the judge’s decision puts the pharmaceutical industry at risk by creating a new precedent whereby the courts can overrule the FDA’s legal authority to approve drugs. According to the signatories, the decision creates uncertainty among companies that would lead to an unwillingness to invest in research and development of new treatments.
Ovid Therapeutics CEO Levin told Reuters there’s a risk of “medicines not being developed because it’s far too expensive,” and a risk that already approved medicines will be withdrawn over political disagreements.
Before the recent ruling, Mifepristone has been on the market for more than 20 years. It has been used as part of a two-drug process that is responsible for more than half the abortions that occur in the US each year. Many legal and health commentators agree that the court’s ruling is unprecedented and endangers the integrity of the regulatory approach to prescription drugs.
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