Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oof, Supreme Court rejects FDA preemption in Wyeth case

In Wyeth v. Levine, decided today, the United States Supreme Court rejected the argument that federal law regulating the labelling of drugs does not preempt state law tort claims against drug manufacturers related to the sufficiency of the labelling of their products.

The vote was 6-3, evidently, with Roberts, Scalia, and Alito on the losing side. I think that if the vote had gone the other way, Congress would have changed the law promptly, or tried to, as in the Ledbetter case.

Still, the preemption arguments makes an awful lot of sense, when the government controls what can and cannot be said in the drug labels, down to the period and comma.

1 comment:

Eric Mason said...

Let me get this straight... After spending billions and waiting years for the FDA to approve a drug, now drug companies have to endlessly defend themselves in court for something the FDA already approved? Sounds like a good way to even further reduce the number and quality of new drugs, and increase the cost of those that do make it to market. And people wonder why the cost of health care keeps going up in this country.