Last week, Justice Clarence Thomas authored an opinion for the Supreme Court finding that federal law preempts all state law cases against generic drug manufacturers who fail to sufficiently warn patients of the risks and side effects of a drug on the label.
Essentially, this means that if the warnings on the label of a certain drug are outdated, insufficient or inaccurate, any patient who takes a generic version of that drug and is injured or even killed by the drug has no right to any claim against the manufacturer for his or her injuries.
By contrast, a patient who takes the brand name of the exact same drug and suffers the exact same injury still has a right to file a claim in state court against the drug manufacturer. This was decided by the Supreme Court in 2009.
Since in America, 7 out of 10 prescriptions are being filled generically rather than with the more expensive brand names, the effect of this ruling is that the law protects 30% of the people on prescription drugs and ignores the other 70%. This is not only grossly unfair, it leaves the vast majority of people vulnerable to drug manufacturer negligence.
This Supreme Court decision is deeply troubling. If you can, for the sake of safety, please insist on having your family’s prescriptions filled with brand names rather than generics. Do your research on the drugs your family is prescribed and be aware of the potential risks and side effects. If you have been injured by a prescription drug or medical device, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Ferrara Law Firm to find out more about your rights.