At the Third Circuit of Appeals the ruling was in favor of Big Pharma. In a nutshell, the argument was made that drug makers cannot be held responsible for the effects of drugs approved by the FDA. It’s a recent ruling, and the implications are not clear, but you can bet the pharmaceutical company lawyers are going to have a field day with this one. Covered at Furious Seasons (April 9):
I wanted to update you all a bit on the recent ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which I wrote about earlier today. The ruling essentially hands a huge victory to Big Pharma–it can claim that FDA approval of a drug preempts state laws concerning drugs–and puts a lot of pressure on a grossly understaffed, underfunded FDA that already has its rules written for it by Big Pharma. Nice scam, I’d say.
The case involved a lack of suicide warnings on Paxil and Zoloft. It’s not clear to me how broadly this ruling might be applied, but methinks the pharma lawyers will go whole hog and try to get it applied to any outstanding suit faced by pharma companies.
Anyhow, one of the lawyers who lost his case before the court said this:
“‘The drug companies get a free ride here,’ Weiss said. ‘They interpret data in a way that’s not scientifically valid. The FDA may not ever know that, and so the drug companies get away with it for six, seven or eight years. People get injured and die because of it. You should have the right at least to expose this stuff to sunshine.'”