Probe triggered over claims pharma firms pushed ‘unapproved’ drugs on trans kids
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating two pharmaceutical companies for allegedly promoting their drugs as puberty blockers for children who identify as transgender.
“The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless,” Paxton said in a statement announcing the investigation this week. “These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects. I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.”
Manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals, the drug Supprelin LA is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment Central Precocious Puberty, a medical condition in which a child starts going through puberty at an abnormally young age. The drug, delivered via an implant, arrests this process until the child is at an appropriate age.
Paxton’s investigation alleges that Endo Pharmaceuticals marketed and promoted Supprelin LA, as well as a prostate cancer drug called Vantas, to children suffering from gender dysphoria who wished to halt their sexual maturation.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria is a condition in which a person’s gender identity differs from their biological sex, causing mental distress. It typically occurs among transgender people.
Paxton’s investigation is also probing AbbVie, another pharma firm, for allegedly marketing Lupron Depot to treat children with gender dysphoria. Lupron Depot is approved by the FDA for treating precocious puberty and advanced prostate cancer.
“The off-label use of these medications for gender dysphoria is completely different” to their authorized uses, endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw told Fox News on Wednesday. “Blocking normal puberty has numerous unhealthy side effects including loss of normal bone development, interference with normal brain and social development and, importantly, causes infertility and sexual dysfunction. Many of these effects will be irreversible.”
Endo Pharmaceuticals denies that it pushed its drugs on transgender teens. Referring to Supprelin LA and Vantas, an Endo spokeswoman told Fox News that the firm “has not promoted either of these medications outside of their indications.”
“We do not have any approved medications indicated for gender dysphoria and we do not promote medications for off-label uses,” the spokeswoman added.
AbbVie has not yet commented on the investigation.