Also from last week, I don’t know if this is something to worry about or just blowing smoke.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating two pharmaceutical companies — Endo Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie Inc. — for allegedly advertising puberty blockers to children and their parents to treat gender dysphoria rather than the other medical conditions they are approved to treat.
Paxton opened the investigation in December and filed civil investigative demands with the two companies on Thursday.
This is the latest move in an ongoing effort by Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott to limit access to gender-affirming medical care for transgender teens in Texas.
In December, Paxton announced investigations under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act into Endo Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie Inc., the two companies that sell puberty blockers. He claimed in a press release that the drugs are approved to treat precocious puberty and forms of prostate cancer but were being marketed and prescribed off-label to treat gender dysphoria.
“These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects,” Paxton said. “I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.”
On Thursday, Paxton issued letters to the companies, demanding certain documents related to the sale and advertisement of the drugs.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Endo said the company does not promote its medications for off-label uses and is cooperating with the investigation. AbbVie did not immediately respond to comment.
On the one hand, Paxton has a documented history of lying about what he does and what the courts do in response to what he does for the purpose of puffing himself up in front of the rubes. It is entirely plausible that this is little more than a letter and a press release and that it will have no followup or further effect. On the other hand, as we have also seen, threats and bullying tactics by the likes of Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott have been sufficient to achieve political goals where medical care for transgender kids are concerned, even when the law is not on their side. So I think it’s fair to be skeptical but not dismissive, and keep an eye on this.