First Lawsuits Filed Over Marketing Denials

    Turning Point Brands has challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s orders that denied some of the company’s products access to the U.S. market. The company first filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. TPB then filed an emergency motion to stay the FDA’s order to remove TPB’s products from the market.

    TPB is asking the court to review the FDA order “on the grounds that it is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, contrary to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, and otherwise not in accordance with law.” The company requests the court “vacate or modify” the FDA order and asks that TPB be allowed to “continue to market the products subject to the challenged order.”

    TPB accuses the FDA of moving the goalposts for data needed to receive a marketing order based on what the agency “learned” from the “review [of] PMTAs for flavored ENDS so far,” according to the stay. TPB noted that the “North Star of administrative law” is that agencies cannot induce regulated parties to rely on “agency representations about regulatory requirements,” then penalize them using the previously unannounced criteria after the fact.

    “But that is precisely what FDA did here,” the stay motion states. “[The] FDA reasoned that TPB failed to conduct ‘a randomized controlled trial and/or longitudinal cohort study’ or other studies performed ‘over time’ to show that TPB’s specific flavored products help adult users stop smoking more than tobacco-flavored products do. Yet FDA previously deemed these studies unnecessary.”

    Bidi Vapor and at least one other company have reportedly filed similar suits.