Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched a probe into two pharmaceutical companies that allegedly advertised and promoted puberty-blocking drugs to minors who suffer from gender dysphoria.
The medications in question include Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot, which are federally approved to treat children with Central Precocious Puberty (CPP), or premature puberty. Another drug, Vantas, has been prescribed for palliative therapy for advanced prostate cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any of these drugs as treatments for gender dysphoria.
Paxton’s office defines gender dysphoria as “a diagnosed mental disorder in which a person experiences significant distress related to a strong desire to be of another biological sex.”
According to Paxton, his office is investigating whether Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and AbbVie Inc. have pushed puberty blockers for “unapproved uses without disclosing the potential risks associated with these drugs to children and their parents,” a violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless,” Paxton said in a press release Monday. “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,” he added.
Endo Pharmaceuticals, which not too long ago paid the state of New York $50 million to settle an opioid lawsuit, said it has only promoted Supprelin LA for CPP treatment, and that it stopped recommending Vantas a long time ago.
“Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. manufactures and markets Supprelin LA for the treatment of children with central precocious puberty (CPP),” a spokeswoman for the drug manufacturer told Fox News.
“The company has not promoted either of these medications outside of their indications and does not promote medications for off-label uses. That being said, we intend to fully cooperate with this inquiry/investigation,” she added. “We do not have any approved medications indicated for gender dysphoria and we do not promote medications for off-label uses.”
Paxton’s probe continues efforts by Texas government to address the issue of so-called gender transition among young children. In August, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services declared that performing genital mutilation of a child for the purpose of gender transitioning constitutes child abuse, since it may cause a genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child.