Doctors for America & Reproductive Health Coalition file 2nd Amicus Brief re. mifepristone ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Doctors for America and the Reproductive Health Coalition have filed a new amicus brief in support of FDA’s approval of the use of mifepristone to end pregnancy through ten weeks gestation.
The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is in response to the decision made last week by Judge Kacsmaryk in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine vs. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which Judge Kacsmaryk ordered the FDA to stay the approval of mifepristone. Both Doctors for America (DFA) and the Reproductive Health Coalition (RHC) are deeply concerned that the decision made by Judge Kacsmaryk is not based on medical science, nor the robust data available. Mifepristone is a medication that has been safely used by physicians and patients for over 20 years, with research showing that adverse events and outcomes are exceedingly rare, occurring in less than a fraction of 1% of cases.
Doctors for America (DFA) and the Reproductive Health Coalition (RHC) are alarmed by the ramifications that potential loss of access to this medication will have on patients and clinicians. The brief filed in the Fifth Circuit provides first-hand physician testimonies on potentially devastating impacts on patient safety if mifepristone were temporarily or permanently taken off the market. DFA and the RHC are deeply concerned with Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision to stay the approval of an FDA-approved medication, as this decision undermines the FDA’s authority and sets a dangerous precedent for future drugs and therapeutics to be removed from market based on politics rather than patient harm or lack of efficacy.
The brief was filed by Dallas attorney Thomas Leatherbury with assistance from Columbia Law School’s Science, Health & Information Clinic (SHIC). SHIC provides pro bono legal help to DFA. Columbia Law student attorneys Emily Davidson and Matt Tracy led work on the brief, with support from student attorney David Ratnoff, and SHIC Director Christopher Morten.
The full brief filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals can be found here. DFA’s earlier amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in February in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA can be found here.
For press inquiries for Doctors for America or the Reproductive Health Coalition regarding clinician members willing to speak on this issue please contact Claire Onyechi with Continuum Health Group (email@example.com).
About Doctors for America:
Doctors for America (DFA) mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation. DFA is an organization of over 27,000 physician and medical student advocates in all 50 states, representing all areas of specialization. DFA teaches physicians and medical students advocacy skills and does advocacy at a state and federal level. Our impact areas focus on access to affordable care, community health and prevention, and health justice and equity. DFA focuses solely on what is best for our patients, not on the business side of medicine, and does not accept any funding from pharmaceutical or medical device companies, which uniquely positions DFA as the organization that puts patients over politics and patients over profits. Find out more at doctorsforamerica.org and on Twitter @drsforamerica.
About the Reproductive Health Coalition:
The Reproductive Health Coalition (RHC) is a wide-range of health professional associations and allied organizations who advocate with a unified voice to protect access to essential reproductive care. The tenets of this work include: a patient’s right to dignity, autonomy, privacy, and the expectation of a trusted relationship with their clinician; protection of the clinician’s ethical obligation to provide care, including their access to comprehensive training; and a commitment to an evidence-based approach to policy and practice. Over 40 organizations participate in the RHC, collectively representing more than 150 million members. Click here for more information.
(as a reminder, I'm on the board of Doctors for America)