Patients’ Right to Sue Drug Makers Upheld By Supreme Court

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A multi-million dollar jury verdict was upheld on March 4, when the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that a patient has the right to sue the drug manufacturer of a prescription or over-the-counter drug if that drug caused injury.

The decision means drug makers are not shielded from state lawsuits just because their product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

A Vermont musician sued the drug maker, Wyeth, after she lost part of her arm to gangrene after being injected with the drug, Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug. The suit argued the labeling of the drug did not give proper warnings of the danger of the drug to consumers. The jury agreed and awarded the woman $6.7 million.

Patients’ Right to Sue Drug Makers

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