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Vivek Ramaswamy’s Stance on the FDA

Updated: Mar 15

Vivek Ramaswamy, the former Republican presidential candidate, is well known in the pharmaceutical industry as the founder and former CEO of the biotech company Riovant. Since 2016, Riovant has contributed to the development of six FDA-approved drugs.

However, as of February 2023, Ramaswamy stepped down as chair of Riovant to run for president and has since been vocal about his disdain for the FDA, posting about his plans to “gut” the FDA on Twitter as early as July. In the Twitter post, Ramaswamy stated that the government agency was "corrupt" and "hypocritical," claiming that FDA pushback on “Right to Try Laws” conflicted with their accelerated approval of the mandated COVID-19 vaccination. The Right to Try gives patients with life-threatening illnesses the right to participate in clinical trials and request access to investigational drugs that have not been federally approved by the FDA. 

While Ramaswamy and other critics are frustrated with this duality, other journalists and political figures claim that it is not the FDA’s responsibility to review or approve Right to Try requests, as well as support the FDA’s decision to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine approval process. 

Although Ramaswamy has stepped down from his presidential campaign, the role of the FDA will likely remain relevant in the presidential election. Two cases concerning restrictions on the abortion pill drug Mifepristone–Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and Danco Laboratories v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine–are on the Supreme Court’s agenda for this summer 2024 during the height of the presidential campaign.

Ramaswamy has already announced that he hopes the Court will overturn FDA approval of Mifepristone. He has also endorsed former President Trump’s candidacy in the presidential election. 

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