U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Generic Drug Injury Lawsuits

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that generic drug manufacturers can not be sued under state law for adverse reactions to their products because it would run against federal laws on prescription medications that are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

What The Ruling Means

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that makers of “branded” drugs could be held responsible for injuries resulting from their products. However, the Court’s decision didn’t tackle the issue of whether makers of cheaper, generic versions of drugs could be held liable.

According to Reuters, the Court recently ruled that generic drug manufacturers – which account for approximately 80 percent of U.S. prescriptions – can not be held liable for injuries resulting from their products. Consumer advocate groups and pharmaceutical injury lawyers say that the ruling will undermine patient safety – and no one knows that better than Karen Bartlett.

Bartlett was the plaintiff in the case recently decided by the Court. Her doctors prescribed a generic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for shoulder pain and she suffered a rare hypersensitivity reaction three weeks after she started taking it. Her skin began to peel off, leaving her severely disfigured with burn-like lesions over two-thirds of her body. She is now nearly blind.

Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Although the outcome of this case is not good news for plaintiffs injured by generic drugs, it reinforces the fact that non-generic pharmaceutical manufacturers must be held accountable for their actions as generic versions of drugs aren’t generally introduced until the original manufacturer’s patent ends. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous or drug, contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, to determine whether you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.cbc

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