“Everything is on the table”, whatever that ultimately means.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said the administration is willing to do whatever it takes to protect access to the abortion drug mifepristone, after a federal judge in Texas suspended the FDA’s approval of the medication on Friday. As my colleague Madison Pauly reported, the ruling could have “potentially explosive implications for the availability of abortion nationwide, regardless of state laws and policies.” In a conflicting ruling the same day, a federal judge in Washington state ruled that the FDA should not make any changes to access to mifepristone, though it remains unclear what the result of the dueling orders will be.
The Department of Justice filed an appeal immediately after the Texas ruling, and is seeking a stay of the judge’s decision that would allow mifepristone to stay on the market. In interviews Sunday morning with MSNBC and CNN, Becerra emphasized an aggressive legal strategy as essential to maintain access to the pill, which has been proven to be a safe and effective part of medication abortion. “We will make sure that we get that appeal and that stay, and if we can’t get that stay, we will go as far as we need to go in order to protect access to mifepristone,” Becerra told MSNBC Sunday Show host Jonathan Capehart.
Becerra also said the ruling could have dangerous implications for access to other drugs beyond mifepristone—which was approved by the same FDA process as many other essential medications. He warned that the decision could set a precedent that allows any person with an ideological objection to a medication to file a similar lawsuit. “If you can turn upside down the entire process that the FDA relies on not just for mifepristone, but insulin, vaccines, you name it…you put essentially every drug in America at some form of risk,” he told MSNBC.
See here for the background. I don’t have anything to add, so here’s a bit of additional reading for you.
Think about pharmaceutical companies that want to crush a competitor.
Kacsmaryk has given these companies an opening to secure a nationwide block on a competing drug’s FDA approval, thereby pulling it from the market, by suing over side effects. That is insane.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) 11:35 AM – 8 April 2023
Hopefully things will at least be a bit clearer soon. Until then, well, at least the stakes are clearer.