NAMI News

NAMI Urges Supreme Court to Protect Access to Safe and Effective Drugs and Treatments

1/31/2024

Today, NAMI joined partners in filing an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief urging the Supreme Court to protect access to safe, effective treatments by reversing the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v.  FDA et al. NAMI and 24 other organizations representing millions of Americans with serious health conditions and the providers who care for them argued that the previous decision threatens individuals’ and providers’ ability to rely on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decisions about drug safety. 

Access to effective prescription medications is critical for many people with mental illness to successfully manage their condition and get on a path of recovery. The Fifth Circuit’s ruling has created uncertainty about where the ultimate authority for decisions about drug safety rests in our country.

“We believe that decisions about drug safety and efficacy belong with the medical and scientific experts at the FDA,” said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI’s Chief Advocacy Officer. “People affected by mental illness rely on this process when evaluating their treatment options. It is essential that experts make decisions on safety, not judges.”

If the Supreme Court fails to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s ruling, people with mental illness could face dangerous, unnecessary barriers to accessing safe and effective FDA-approved drugs or treatments. A decision to uphold the lower court’s ruling would also set a dangerous precedent by undermining the ability of FDA experts in science and medicine to determine the safety and efficacy of drugs and treatments.

NAMI will continue to fight so that all people with mental illness have access to safe, effective treatment options.

  • See the groups’ joint statement here
  • Read the brief