Two makers of flavored e-liquids lost their bid to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow them to market their vaping products, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied their requests Monday for review of the agency’s orders.
Wages and White Lion Investments LLC, doing business as Triton Distribution, and Vapetasia LLC didn’t show that the FDA acted arbitrarily or capriciously when it rejected their premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs), the Fifth Circuit said.
If the ruling holds, Triton and Vapetasia will not be able to sell their reduced-risk nicotine products.
Dozens of other smaller vape companies have accused the agency of operating unfairly, and will likely be disheartened by this ruling, reports Alex Norcia for Filter.
“Among the three judges who heard the Triton case, Catharina Haynes and Gregg Costa sided with the FDA. Edith Jones, the former chief judge of the Fifth Circuit who has served since the Reagan administration, dissented from her colleagues,” Norcia writes.
Todd Wages, a partner at Triton Distribution, told Filter he was “very disappointed” in the court. “We’re exploring our next steps. I will not stop fighting until I can’t any longer, until every door is closed,” he said.
The FDA rejected applications to market 55,000 flavored e-cigarettes in August, 2021, including Triton’s, and said applicants would likely need to conduct long-term studies establishing their products’ benefits to win approval.
A Fifth Circuit panel then in October agreed with Triton’s claim that the new requirement for long-term studies differed from earlier FDA guidance and was a “surprise switcheroo” and the panel allowed Triton to keep selling its e-cigarettes until another panel could hear its appeal.
Eric Heyer, the lawyer representing Triton Distribution, told Filter that the company “intends to file a petition for rehearing en banc by the entirety of the Fifth Circuit.”