WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Pliva v.
Mensing is a disastrous outcome for patient safety, giving
generic drug companies legal immunity when they ignore harmful
side-effects of the drugs they manufacture and profit from.
This decision eliminates any incentive for generic
manufacturers to ensure their drug is safe and adequately warn
consumers of their drugs’ potential dangers.
This decision also means that brand-name manufacturers will be
held to a different yet safer standard. The Supreme Court
decided in Wyeth v. Levine, brand-name manufacturers are
responsible for their warning labels and required to update them at
“Patients will now be taking generic drugs at their own risk,”
said American Association for Justice President Gibson
Vance. “It is absurd that doctors and patients will have to
make medical decisions knowing that only brand-name drug
manufacturers – not generics – can be held accountable
for their drugs’ dangerous side-effects.”
Today, 70 percent of all prescription drugs are filled with
generic versions, accounting for about 2.6 billion prescriptions
every year. Additionally, the generic drug industry continues
to expand – nine of the industry’s 10 biggest blockbuster
drugs are going off-patent within in the next few years.
“Congress and the Food and Drug Administration need to quickly
address the huge legal disparity between brand-name and generic
drugs,” said Vance. “Today’s decision sends a dangerous and
expensive message to patients: you are safer taking brand-name
Louis Bograd, Senior Litigation Counsel at the Center for
Constitutional Litigation, argued this case on behalf of
Mensing, and AAJ also filed an amicus brief. For more
information, visit www.justice.org/courts.