State Attorneys General have urged Washington lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow for generic drug makers to face the same liability as brand name drug companies for failing to include adequate warnings on drug labels. In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., 41 state Attorneys General urged the passage of the Patient Safety and Generic Drug Labeling Act, S. 2295. The bill, introduced by Sen. Leahy, would require generic drug manufacturers to update their warning labels to protect patients from previously unknown side effects.
The bill would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in PLIVA v. Mensing, which held that state-law failure-to-warn claims against generic drug makers were preempted by federal law, which requires generic drugs to carry the same labeling as their brand name counterparts. The Attorney Generals’ letter stated:
This preemption holding produces arbitrary and unfair results, as both the majority and dissenting opinions in PLIVA recognized. Consumers whose prescriptions happen to be filled with the brand-name version of a drug are protected by state law from inadequate warnings, but consumers whose pharmacists fill their prescriptions with the generic version are now denied this protection. The adverse consequences are magnified by the fact that over 70% of prescriptions in the United States are filled with generic drugs.
The Attorneys General join others, including the American Medical Association, Public Citizen, AARP and the Alliance for Justice in pressing for passage of this badly-needed legislation. If you agree with their stand – that generic drug manufacturers should be required to give needed safety warnings – then contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support this important legislation.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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