Federal judge says cigarette makers’ suit over FDA tobacco review panel can move forward
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge says a challenge by two major cigarette makers alleging conflicts of interest in a federal advisory panel’s review of tobacco products can move forward.
In an order posted Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington denied the Food and Drug Administration’s motion to dismiss the suit filed by Lorillard Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The suit alleges financial conflict of interest and bias by several members of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.
The panel advises the FDA on tobacco-related issues, including the public health impact of menthol cigarettes and dissolvable tobacco.
Lorillard, based in Greensboro, N.C., makes the top-selling Newport menthol brand. R.J. Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., sells brands including Camel and Pall Mall, as well as dissolvable tobacco products.