The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked a federal judge on Nov. 15 to give it until the year 2076 to fully release the documents in its possession tied to the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The FDA’s request was made in a filing as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by a medical transparency group. The government told the court it has 329,000 pages of documents responsive to the FOIA request and proposed releasing 500 pages per month to allow for redactions of exempt material. At that rate, the FDA would fully release the records in question in just under 55 years.
The plaintiff, Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT), is a group of doctors and scientists, including Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.
The group filed the lawsuit (pdf) after the FDA denied their request to expedite the release of the records. The plaintiff and the defendant, unable to reach an agreement on a disclosure schedule, are seeking a hearing to argue their cases before the judge, who may eventually make a decision in that regard.