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Supreme Court- No State Lawsuits for Generic

susan_harr5 years ago

The Supreme Court ruled today that individuals cannot file state suits against generic drug manufacturers for injuries sustained as a result of generic medications.

The impact of the decision is widespread- 75% of all prescription drugs dispensed in the United States are generic, according to a Supreme Court report. Generic versions are given out 90% of the time when the option is available. Information below comes from the Supreme Court Decision.

Pliva vs. Mensing

  • 5-4 Supreme Court decision
  • The decision throws out lawsuits from two women who developed tardive dyskinesia, a severe neurological disorder, after taking a generic metoclopramide for acid reflux disorder
  • The plaintiffs were prescribed the generic drug for Reglan in 2001 and 2002
  • Plaintiffs sued the generic manufacturers under state laws that require companies to “take necessary steps to protect consumers”
  • Supreme Court found that federal laws require generic drugs to have the same labels as the brand names they copy, so courts could not demand they meet a different state standard at the same time

Federal Law/ State Law Conflict

  • State law says all drug manufacturers are to adequately and safely label their products.
  • Federal law says that labels of brand name medications and their generic counterparts have to be the same- “The generic drug's labeling must be essentially the same as that of the approved drug” (Food and Drug Administration).
  • The Supreme Court ruling found that it would have been impossible for the manufacturers to simultaneously comply with both their state-law duty to change the label and their federal law duty to keep the label the same.
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Your choice does matter. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries because of any defective drugs and/or products, call the Thomas J. Henry immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

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