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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Hope Follows Disappointment For Those Injured By Unsafe Generic Drugs

July 16, 2013

This June, a divided Supreme Court issued a ruling that closed the door for persons injured by unsafe generic drugs to file a lawsuit against the makers of those pharmaceuticals. But a recent proposal by the Food and Drug Administration would essentially render that ruling moot, a move applauded by the Ochs Law Firm.

Casper, Wyoming (PRWEB) July 16, 2013

Consumer advocates were distraught this past June when the United States Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that a lawsuit filed against the Mutual Pharmaceutical Company on behalf of an injured New Hampshire citizen was invalid. The decision invalidated a $21 million dollar judgment against the pharmaceutical company.

The situation is detailed in a Los Angeles Times article from June 25 entitled "Supreme Court blocks generic drug liability suits." The opinion of the Court’s majority indicated that they believed generic drug makers are at the behest of the original branded drug when it comes to label updates. With generic manufacturers required not to deviate from the original product or label, the Supreme Court essentially said that the makers are not responsible for instances of patient adversity. Hence, the aforementioned lawsuit, upheld in an appeals court, was overturned.

Many safety and consumer advocates from around the country cried foul, explaining that this decision protects generic drug makers from liability when a product is defective or the label otherwise fails to outline the severity or appearance of side effects.

The unsafe drug lawyers of the Ochs Law Firm worried right alongside others about the ramifications of this ruling. Jason Ochs, a longtime advocate for patient rights, succinctly outlined the concern from his office in Casper.

“In making this decision, the Supreme Court took the side of the big guy over the little guy,” said Mr. Ochs. “Without a means for patients to bring lawsuits against generic drug manufacturers, there’s no incentive for those entities to take steps that could ensure the safety of patients. The Supreme Court may be the highest court in the land, but I can’t help but feel they got this one wrong.”

However, worries about a lack of recompense for injured parties were somewhat set at ease by a proposal issued last week by the FDA. In a notification provided to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the FDA signaled that they are considering a measure that would allow generic drug makers to alter labeling as needed to reflect safety concerns.

The effect this alteration to the law would have can’t be underestimated. The headline of a New York Times piece published July 4, 2013, says it all: “F.D.A. Rule Could Open Generic Drug Makers to Suits.” At the moment, it’s up to the brand name drug maker to monitor developments and change labels accordingly, at which point the generic drug maker must make a similar change due to the equivalency standard. By allowing the generic producer to update a label based off of safety concerns, the FDA would also set such companies up to be responsible for a failure to act.

Attorney Jason Ochs was relieved by this latest development, as were many persons who questioned the wisdom of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Our firm is grateful that the FDA has casts its lot, so to speak, with patients. Although it could be years until we see some kind of rule finalized, the mere fact that a measure is in the works is a good sign. Drug makers need to be held responsible for any threats created by their products, and it shouldn’t matter if the name of such unsafe medications is branded or generic.

“It’s a consumer’s right to know what they’re getting into before they’re administered a drug, just as it’s their right to file a lawsuit when the drug does more harm than good.”

The Ochs Law Firm is an award-winning practice recognized by such entities as the American Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice. With offices in Wyoming, California, and Colorado, the firm is able to offer representation to victims of unsafe drug consumption as well as assistance to persons going through divorce, filing class action lawsuits, defending against criminal accusations, and more. Visit their website to learn more about representation.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10918127.htm


Source: prweb