After losing a patent dispute with British American Tobacco over its IQOS heated tobacco product, Philip Morris has been forced to suspend sales of the device in the US. Specifically, BAT says that the heating element in IQOS violates a BAT patent.
Philip Morris had met with the FDA and urged it to intervene with the Biden Administration on the grounds that IQOS delivered lower levels of some toxins than a cigarette. We don’t know what, if anything, the FDA did, but the Administration did not act to protect IQOS.
This issue will now play out in the courts in a legal battle between RJR (BAT’s US subsidiary) and Philip Morris, but in the meantime the public will be protected from IQOS, something the FDA failed to do.
FDA should use this time to reconsider its marketing order allowing IQOS to be sold in the USA.