Days prior to today’s scheduled release of documents related to the Pfizer COVID vaccine, the pharmaceutical company asked a federal court to let it intervene before any information is released. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it agreed with the drugmaker’s request.
Days prior to today’s scheduled release of a tranche of documents related to the Pfizer COVID vaccine, the pharmaceutical company asked a federal court to let it intervene before any information is released.
It’s the latest 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).
PHMPT asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release all documents related to its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine and full approval of the Pfizer-Comirnaty COVID vaccine.
Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Jan. 6 issued an order requiring the FDA to release 12,000 pages of documents by Jan. 31 and an additional 55,000 pages per month thereafter, until the release of the nearly 400,000 pages of documents is complete.
FDA will have 8 months — not the 75 years it requested — to release all documents related to the licensing of Pfizer’s Comirnaty COVID vaccine, a federal judge ruled Thursday.https://t.co/WSNvSbkGDM
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) January 7, 2022
Pfizer claims to support the disclosure of the documents, but asked to intervene in the case to ensure that information exempt from disclosure will not be “disclosed inappropriately.”
In a memorandum it submitted to the court, Pfizer said it:
“[S]eeks leave to intervene in this action for the limited purpose of ensuring that information exempt from disclosure under FOIA is adequately protected as FDA complies with this Court’s order.”
Attorneys for Pfizer also claimed while it was not asking the court to reconsider the Jan. 6 order, it would consider challenging the order at an unspecified later date, telling the court:
“Pfizer does not presently intend to move the Court to reconsider its January 6, 2022 order, but Pfizer is not in a position at this time to waive its ability to do so if circumstances change such that there is good cause at a later time to do so.”
Pfizer did not clarify what such a change of circumstances might entail.