Drugmakers Stand Up for Reproductive Rights: Pfizer and Biogen Among 300 Condemning Abortion Pill Approval Suspension

  • Last week Friday, a U.S. judge suspended the FDA's approval of mifepristone, effectively banning sales. Executives from over 300 companies, including Pfizer Inc PFE and Biogen Inc BIIB, signed an open letter calling to reverse a federal judge's decision.
  • The abortion pill has been available since 2000. The letter's authors wrote that the ruling ignores scientific evidence and legal precedent.
  • "We call for the reversal of this decision to disregard science and the appropriate restitution of the mandate for the safety and efficacy of medicines for all with the FDA, the agency entrusted to do so in the first place," Reuters reported citing the letter's authors.
  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was reportedly the first leader of a major pharmaceutical company to add his name to the letter. Biogen President Alisha Alaimo has since also signed it.
  • Also Read: Administration's Abortion Drug Battle: White House to Contest Texas Ruling on Approval Suspension.
  • The Department of Justice appealed the decision in a filing with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. It asked that the decision be stayed by April 13 and that a stay remains in place until all appeals, including, if necessary, to the Supreme Court, are resolved.
  • The letter says the decision undermines FDA's authority to approve drugs, and adding regulatory uncertainty would disincentivize investment in new treatments.
  • "You have the real potential of having medicines not being developed because it's far too expensive, or medicines that are currently approved being withdrawn because they are political," the CEO of Ovid Therapeutics Inc OVID, Jeremy Levin, told Reuters.
  • President Joe Biden said, "The lawsuit, and this ruling, is another unprecedented step in taking away basic freedoms from women and putting their health at risk...My Administration will fight this ruling."
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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