A federal judge last week rejected a bid by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Pfizer to delay the court-ordered release of nearly 400,000 pages of documents pertaining to the approval of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.
A federal judge Wednesday rejected a bid by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the support of Pfizer, to delay the court-ordered release of nearly 400,000 pages of documents pertaining to the approval of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.
Federal judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in an order issued Feb. 2, said the FDA must release redacted versions of the documents in question according to the following disclosure schedule:
- 10,000 pages apiece, due on or before March 1 and April 1, 2022.
- 80,000 pages apiece, to be produced on or before May 2, June 1 and July 1, 2022.
- 70,000 pages to be produced on or before Aug. 1, 2022.
- 55,000 pages per month, on or before the first business day of each month thereafter, until the release of the documents has been completed.
The order grants the FDA the ability to “bank” excess pages as part of this release schedule — meaning that if the agency exceeds its monthly quota in any given month it can apply those extra pages to a subsequent month.
Last week’s ruling is the most recent development in an ongoing court case that began with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in August 2021 by Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT), a group of doctors and public health professionals.