Texas AG Paxton Investigating Drug Makers for Unauthorized Use of Hormones on Trans Children

In this Dec.13, 2018 photo, Laura, a transgender girl, looks from behind a glass door during recess at the Amaranta Gomez school in Santiago, Chile.
Esteban Felix/AP Photo

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and AbbVie Inc. for allegedly advertising puberty-blocking drugs for children who say they are “transgender” despite the drugs not having FDA approval for treating gender dysphoria.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a press release announcing the probe:

The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless. 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.

“The OAG has the authority to investigate false, misleading, and deceptive conduct by businesses in Texas, and to take legal action to enforce the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” Paxton said. The press release continued:

Medications Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot are approved to treat children with Central Precocious Puberty (CPP), when the puberty process begins prematurely. And Vantas, along with other forms of Lupron, has been prescribed for palliative treatment of prostate cancer. These drugs are now being used to treat gender dysphoria even though they are not approved for such use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Yahoo News reported on Paxton’s announcement: 

The companies under investigation are Endo Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie Inc., which both allegedly peddled hormone blockers for “unapproved uses without disclosing the potential risks associated with these drugs to children and their parents.” Paxton’s probe will seek to discover whether the corporations violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The FDA has not approved Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot, the drugs in question, as treatments for gender dysphoria, but they can legally treat children with Central Precocious Puberty (CPP), when the puberty begins at an abnormally early age. Another drug the companies allegedly pushed for gender dysphoria, Vantas, is technically only meant to alleviate prostate cancer symptoms. Endo Pharmaceuticals claimed it has only promoted Supprelin LA for its legal use as a CPP remedy and that it has not recommended Vantas at all for years.

“Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. manufactures and markets Supprelin® LA for the treatment of children with central precocious puberty (CPP),” Heather Zoumas Lubeski, a spokeswoman for the company, told Fox News. “That being said, we intend to fully cooperate with this inquiry/investigation.”

“We do not have any approved medications indicated for gender dysphoria and we do not promote medications for off-label uses,” Lubeski said.

“Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state Department of Family Protective Services in August to determine whether gender-transition surgery on children constitutes child abuse,” Yahoo reported. “Rather than administering puberty blocking drugs, that inquiry focused on surgical procedures that would ‘sterilize the child, such as orchiectomy or hysterectomy, or remove otherwise healthy body parts, such as penectomy or mastectomy.’”

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