Texas probes Endo, AbbVie for off-label promo of hormone blockers

Dec. 15, 2021

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating allegations that pharma companies advertised and promoted hormone blockers for unapproved uses, without disclosing the potential risks.

The investigation centers on two drugs made by Endo Pharmaceuticals — Supprelin LA (FDA approved in 2007) and Vantas (2004) and AbbVie's Lupron Depot, an older drug approved in 1985. The drugs, dispensed via subcutaneous implant, are approved to treat central precocious puberty, a rare condition marked by early onset of sexual development.

However AG Paxton says the drugs are being used to treat patients with gender dysphoria — a condition where the sex assigned at birth doesn't match someone's gender identity, causing them psychological distress —  because the treatments can pause puberty.

No medications have been FDA-approved to treat patients with gender dysphoria. However, studies have shown that gender affirmation through hormone therapy can improve psychological adjustment and quality of life.