Goldwater loses bid to unveil information on experimental drugs

A judge ruled Goldwater Institute has no legal right to force the FDA to disclose exactly how it reached the decision to allow two people infected with the Ebola virus to be administered ZMapp.

 

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A federal judge rejected efforts by the Goldwater Institute to force the Food and Drug Administration to detail publicly how dying people can get access to unapproved medicines.

In a 12-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton said attorney Jonathan Riches has no legal right to force the agency to disclose exactly how it reached the decision to allow two people infected with the Ebola virus to be administered ZMapp even though it had not even gotten to the stage where it was approved for human testing. Riches contends the public is entitled to know how the FDA reached that conclusion.

But Riches said Monday the issues go beyond what happened in this one case.

“How the government makes life-saving drugs available, particularly in an emergency situation, we have a right to know that,” he said.

“That shouldn’t be a government secret,” Riches said. “The FDA should be as transparent as possible when it comes to how patients who are sick and dying can get access to drugs that might save their lives.”

And he said he intends to appeal.

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