Abortion pill lawsuit could chill innovation in biotech, experts say Leave a comment

More than 400 pharmaceutical and biotech company leaders condemned a Texas judge’s ruling to suspend the FDA’s 23-year approval of abortion drug mifepristone, warning of repercussions for future drug innovation.

Pharmaceutical experts worry the courts are making complicated, scientific decisions they are unqualified to do, undermining the authority of the FDA.

“It’s about the future of health care and health care innovation in the United States. If this [Texas] ruling stands — and I don’t think that it will — innovation will cease. Consumers, patients and health care professionals will lose faith in the FDA and we’ll be a very bad place,” Peter Pitts, president and co-founder at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, said on GBH’s Greater Boston Thursday.

Although mifepristone is the only drug currently under debate, Pitts said other drugs could soon be disputed, setting a dangerous precedent.

The constant in new drug development is the FDA’s regulatory process. Introducing new uncertainty in the biotech sector could lead to decreased funding as developers and venture capitalists may avoid the risk of future investment. Pitts said.

Donna LaVoie, president and CEO of LaVoie Health Science, said we need to ensure that we are continuing to fund the biotech and pharmaceutical sector. It’s a cornerstore of Massachusetts industry with the wealth of hospitals, scientific institutions and biotech companies that reside in the commonwealth.

“The most important thing is patient access and patient access to medicines — what is on the market today and what is in development,” she said.

“We should’ve learned from the recent COVID pandemic experience that when you allow emotion, religion and politics to supersede science, people get confused and their immediate reaction is to lose faith in the government organizations that are tasked to do the right thing,” Pitts said.


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