Pfizer attempts to intervene after FDA asks court to delay publication of 55,000 pages on vaccine
The lawsuit has been going on since September.
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking to delay a court order that requires the agency every month starting March 1 to publish 55,000 pages of information used by the agency to license Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, and Pfizer then asked to intervene in the lawsuit.
"[A]ll of this insanity is simply in response to an attempt to obtain some basic transparency," Aaron Siri, who represents the plaintiff, Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, said on Wednesday. "This should again bring into sharp focus why the government should never coerce or mandate anyone to get an unwanted medical product or procedure."
Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency filed a lawsuit in September after the FDA refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for documents on the Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA asked the court to set the document release rate at 500 pages a month. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman denied the request and ordered the FDA to release 55,000 pages every 30 days starting in March. Last week, the agency asked the court to delay the first release to May.
Pfizer on Friday filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, arguing that it could "facilitate the production" of information and "assist the Parties in efficiently segregating and redacting any data and information" necessary for the FOIA request.
"Just look at this circus – the government mandates Pfizer’s product, gives it immunity for any safety or efficacy issues, promotes its product using taxpayer money, gives Pfizer over $17 billion and then uses taxpayers’ money to fight to avoid providing even the most basic level of transparency to the public," Siri said.
He argues that the court should maintain the current FDA production rate requirement for February and April before increasing the rate from April onward to 180,000 pages a month.