Supreme Court: Major Drug Companies are exempt from 'Side-Effect' lawsuits

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#1
In a 5 to 4 vote, the US Supreme Court has absolved pharmaceutical companies, and over 80 percent of all drugs prescribed in the US, of legal liability for a long list of ill deeds including fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death.

This decision happened as a response to a lower court’s ruling concerning a victim who took a pharmaceutical drug and had a severely adverse reaction that caused the patient to be completely disfigured when the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect.The side effect was known by the drug maker and yet, was not labeled. The lower court ruled that the drug maker would have to label all future drugs with this side effect but the Supreme Court left the corporations who make these drugs completely exempt from future lawsuits, and said the victim ‘had no legal grounds to sue.’
Karen Bartlett tried to sue Mutual Pharmaceutical Company after taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Sulindac due to a sore shoulder. It was this drug that caused ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’ just three weeks after taking the pharmaceutical. Her flesh began to peel off so badly it resembled a third degree burn.

When Bartlett sued in a New Hampshire state court, including the fact that there was no warning about the possible flesh-eating side effect, she won the case and was awarded $21 million in damages. The FDA then went on to force both Mutual Pharma and Merck & Co. to include warnings on drug labels going forward, but nine years later, the Supreme Court has overturned that ruling. The higher court stated as reason for their verdict, ‘all generic drugs and their manufacturers [over 80% of all drugs prescribed in the US] are exempt from liability for side effects.’ The court has essentially given the FDA ultimate authority over pharmaceutical use in the US.

One critic, Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, as reported by Reuters, stated, “Today’s court decision provides a disincentive for generic makers of drugs to monitor safety of their products and to make sure that they have a surveillance system in place to detect adverse events that pose a threat to patients.”

I dare say this is not nearly a harsh enough criticism. Considering Big Pharma and Big Agriculture are being given carte blanche to determine what is good for people’s health and the FDA is bought and paid for by special interest groups, we should be more than ‘surveying’ the damage. Here is an obvious listing of conflicts of interest when it comes to public health matters, and the incestuous relationship between Big Pharma/Big Agriculture corporations and the FDA:

Larry Combest (Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and former Attorney General John Ashcroft were the congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the last election (Source: Dairy Education Board) Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas (who put GW Bush into office) was a lawyer for Monsanto. Anne Veneman was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation, and is now the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors for Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals. The governor of Wisconsin, and the U.S. Secretary of Health, Tommy Thompson, received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto while running for his gubernatorial office. “Agricultural biotechnology will find a supporter occupying the White House next year, regardless of which candidate wins the election in November.” - Monsanto In-house Newsletter, 2000

This Supreme Court ruling will effectively absolve Monsanto and all other companies, Syngenta, Merck, Dow, Bayer, etc. from any lawsuits that would hold them accountable for the damage they are doing to public health. We are all being poisoned with an endless loop of toxic foods which cause cancer, inflammation, reproductive issues, organ failure and more, and then ‘medicines’ that address the very issues caused by toxic food and a toxic environment. It’s a sick, tortuous plan. Unless we find a way to stop these corporate entities from controlling our governments, like India has with its recent refusal to patent Monsanto maize, we will have signed our own death certificates.



TL/DR:
Years ago:
-Lady takes drug
-Gets messed up, like badly
-Sues company
-Wins

Recently:
-Supreme Court have overruled that ruling
-Major pharmaceutical companies are not responsible for adverse effects
-They're not required to list these side-effects as well


http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q32013/supreme-court-rules-drug-companies-exempt-from-lawsuits/

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Supreme_Court_Rules_Drug_Companies_Exempt_from_Lawsuits_in_5-4_Vote%3A_Monsanto_Strategy%3F/27511/0/38/38/Y/M.html

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-court-generic-20130625,0,3529718.story


Your thoughts?
Is this wrong; or this okay?
Are people getting screwed over?
Is it their fault for taking the drug knowing that there are several side-effects?
To be vulnerable is needed most of all, if you intend to truly fall apart.


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#2
As long as that only applies to prescription medication, I'm mostly okay with that. Your doctor will know the side effects, and be able to tell you if you shouldn't take it.

That said, I still think it's ******ed. I've been studying pharmaceutical legislation (admittedly, with a focus on marketing) for a while now, and this seems to be the first backslide in quite a while. The industry has been consistently improving since the days of patent medicines, and this seems like the first step toward removing transparency and relapsing into the shitty days of yore.

Obviously, that's slippery slope bullshit. Which is why this isn't a HUGE deal for me. But I think if they continue along this path, things will get shitty.
#3
Frikking ******ed country and justice system. The supreme court is just there to satisfy their own political preferences instead of following the constitution and making laws in line with that. Can't believe that Americans still think they are #landofthefree #mostdemocraticcountry #bestjusticesystem. All social democracies do far better.

Thank evolution I'm a Eurofag.
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ಠ_ಠ
Last edited by Neo Evil11 at Jul 21, 2013,
#4
Quote by progdude93
As long as that only applies to prescription medication.

Nope, generics.

I'm kind of torn on the issue. On one hand, a company should certainly describe all side-effects that it knows from testing and research. However, I do agree that a company should not be punished because something slipped through the FDA that shouldn't have, which would really discourage drug production if there are any risks involved (which there always are).

Although I don't know too much about the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship to the FDA, so that second point may be misguided.
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LET'S GO BUCKS
#5
Quote by Neo Evil11
Frikking ******ed country and justice system. The supreme court is just there to satisfy their own political preferences instead of following the constitution and making laws in line with that.

Thank god I'm a Eurofag.


The Constitution is pretty vague a lot of the time. It's difficult to strictly follow a vague document. And that's where interpretation comes in. Some people interpret more strictly, some interpret using their own implicit biases. There's no one way to follow the Constitution when applying its concepts to issues not directly addressed.
#6


Anyone else see the irony using this pic in this context?
Tomorrow will take us away
Far from home
No one will ever know our names
But the bards' songs will remain
Tomorrow will take it away
The fear of today
It will be gone
Due to our magic songs

ALL HAIL CELESTIA
#7
This is why I don't take medicine and drugs from nancy-pants doctors. My grandfather never took vitamins and side-effect laced drugs, I don't need em either
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#8
Quote by AeroRocker
Although I don't know too much about the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship to the FDA, so that second point may be misguided.


What do you mean?
#9
Quote by progdude93
The Constitution is pretty vague a lot of the time. It's difficult to strictly follow a vague document. And that's where interpretation comes in. Some people interpret more strictly, some interpret using their own implicit biases. There's no one way to follow the Constitution when applying its concepts to issues not directly addressed.

I'm pretty sure the constitution does not say: let's exempt companies from lawsuits. I'm sure it says that companies are liable for the products they sell.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

ಠ_ಠ
#10
Quote by Neo Evil11
I'm pretty sure the constitution does not say: let's exempt companies from lawsuits. I'm sure it says that companies are liable for the products they sell.


Orly? Show me.
#11
I'm usually pretty much afraid of taking meds when I need to so I always look at the side effects but in that womans case it wasnt listed so I dont blame her. I'm kinda on the fence about it cause I dont know, sometimes some people sue for no reason, I'm not saying its all cases but it does happen. I'm just mixed up on it since sometimes side effects do happen without being listed.
STಠ_ಠ
#12
Quote by progdude93
Orly? Show me.

It's so self-evident that I don't feel the need to. it's like saying murdering is against the law.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

ಠ_ಠ
#13
Quote by Neo Evil11
It's so self-evident that I don't feel the need to. it's like saying murdering is against the law.


When the constitution was written, medicine was almost all bullshit. Kids were being given heroin cough syrup, everything had a ****ton of alcohol in it, and there were toxic chemicals being sold in medicine (and other things). Formaldehyde was in bread ffs (later than the constitution).
#14
Quote by progdude93
When the constitution was written, medicine was almost all bullshit. Kids were being given heroin cough syrup, everything had a ****ton of alcohol in it, and there were toxic chemicals being sold in medicine (and other things). Formaldehyde was in bread ffs (later than the constitution).

The law then.
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ಠ_ಠ
#16
Quote by progdude93
What law?

American law.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

ಠ_ಠ
#17
Quote by Neo Evil11
American law.


Right. So American law needs to be based on the Constitution. When the Constitution is unclear, interpretation comes into play. When the Constitution is unclear, there are clauses (like the Commerce Clause or Elastic Clause) that allow lawmakers certain leeway in crafting law.

And at that point, it's not only about Supreme Court discretion, because they need a case to be brought to them in order to make rulings of Constitutionality. And they don't have original jurisdiction over cases like this.

EDIT: meaning, specific cases need to be brought to them so they can apply their Constitutional interpretation.
#18
product liability is in the law. Has been for 60 years apparently.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

ಠ_ಠ
#19
I think its Bullshit.
But it doesn't surprise me.
Every branch of the US government is bought and paid for by big business.

So if your dick falls off after taking some prescription allergy drug, tough shit I guess.


Edit:
^ Apparently product liability doesn't apply to generic drugs now.

I wonder what they will apply this to next. Corn Flakes?
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jul 21, 2013,
#21
Quote by Neo Evil11
I'm pretty sure the constitution does not say: let's exempt companies from lawsuits. I'm sure it says that companies are liable for the products they sell.

I only read the first paragraph of the article, but I'm guessing the ruling was based on Due Process, essentially saying that in order to be legally obligated to do something, there need to be clear laws and court processes that outline what can/cannot be done and what steps should be taken to punish them.

Whatever law or ruling the case was originally based on must not have been clear enough on what companies are required to do.

In a functional world, congress would now amend the law to iron out these ambiguities. However we have the issue of big pharma lobbyists who can keep this from happening/probably had something to do with the law being ambiguous in the first place.
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#22
Pharmaceutical reform has been fought tooth and nail by a large group of very well-funded, very influential people. For the past 100+ years. It's been an uphill battle the entire way.

Fun fact: each and every bit of significant reform to American pharmaceutical legislation happened immediately after catastrophes that fueled social movements. Congress only cares once the voters get upset.

EDIT: that's not an exaggeration, btw.
#23
Quote by Gorelord666
-They're not required to list these side-effects as well

Now that's quite ******ed, like, really a lot.
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#24
As a few examples:

For decades, muckrakers were pointing out the evils of the lack of regulation. Then:

1902- The Bureau of Chemistry finds that common preservatives are toxic (formaldehyde) and this leads to a social movement.
1906- Pure Food and Drug Act comes along.
1937- Elixir sulfanilimide tragedy- a company decides it would be a good idea to use ethylene glycol (antifreeze, fyi) as a solvent. Over 100 people died.
1938- Here comes the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938
1962- Thalidomide- a morning sickness drug was found to cause deformities.
1962- Drug Efficacy Amendment


These are the three most significant laws passed to limit the pharmaceutical industry. Back in the day, newspapers and magazines were funded almost entirely by ads for these bullshit toxic medicines. Ones that spoke up about the dangers of patent medicine and why it should be regulated got blacklisted and went bankrupt.
Last edited by progdude93 at Jul 21, 2013,
#25
this is a step in the wrong direction, but currently we're more than a few steps from our destination.
#26
The best way to solve the problem would be to engineer a disaster that kills at least 100 people, where the only way to prevent that from happening again would be to change the law

I'm down if I can get a team together.
#27
Quote by progdude93
As long as that only applies to prescription medication, I'm mostly okay with that. Your doctor will know the side effects, and be able to tell you if you shouldn't take it.


I think you overestimate the competence of general practitioners. Certainly, when it comes to public health it makes sense to remove as much subjectivity as possible, even from qualified people with doctoral degrees.
#28
Quote by progdude93
The best way to solve the problem would be to engineer a disaster that kills at least 100 people, where the only way to prevent that from happening again would be to change the law

I'm down if I can get a team together.

Why not just go all out and create a giant, terrible monster then teleport it to the center of Madison square garden thereby ending the cold war?
BOOM-SHAKALAKALAKA-BOOM-SHAKALAKUNGA
#29
Quote by TooktheAtrain
I think you overestimate the competence of general practitioners. Certainly, when it comes to public health it makes sense to remove as much subjectivity as possible, even from qualified people with doctoral degrees.


Maybe not a question about the competency of a GP, but if the drug manufacturer doesn't list or publish the side effects, anyone outside of the manufacturer may not even be aware of those side effects.

Next time you see a commercial for a new drug on TV, pay attention to the side effects.
Some of those side effects sound way worse than the condition they are supposed to treat.
Granted those commercials aren't from generic drug makers. But with generic makers being except from lawsuits and making declarations, how long will it be before that applies to the original creator of said drugs?
#30
Quote by Neo Evil11
Frikking ******ed country and justice system. The supreme court is just there to satisfy their own political preferences instead of following the constitution and making laws in line with that. Can't believe that Americans still think they are #landofthefree #mostdemocraticcountry #bestjusticesystem. All social democracies do far better.

Thank evolution I'm a Eurofag.

I chuckle when people go on about things like this. Can anyone can find me where in the Constitution it says that the SCOTUS has the last word on what is constitutional?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


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#31
Quote by rockingamer2
I chuckle when people go on about things like this. Can anyone can find me where in the Constitution it says that the SCOTUS has the last word on what is constitutional?


Why do you think it has to be directly in the Constitution?
#32
Quote by progdude93
Why do you think it has to be directly in the Constitution?

Because people are always going on about constitutionality-this and protecting the ideas of the founders-that. I don't think it has to be, but most people don't know that what they consider the basic function of the SCOTUS isn't even in the Constitution.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#33
Quote by rockingamer2
Because people are always going on about constitutionality-this and protecting the ideas of the founders-that. I don't think it has to be, but most people don't know that what they consider the basic function of the SCOTUS isn't even in the Constitution.


The Supreme Court itself isn't in the Constitution.... The thing is, for something to be Constitutional, it doesn't have to have a source in the Constitution. It simply must not violate the Constitution.

When it comes to government, policy is as or more important than law. Always has been, always will be.
#34
Quote by progdude93
The Supreme Court itself isn't in the Constitution.... The thing is, for something to be Constitutional, it doesn't have to have a source in the Constitution. It simply must not violate the Constitution.

When it comes to government, policy is as or more important than law. Always has been, always will be.

Eh, try talking to people who strictly follow the Constitution. They take the "if it's not in the document, it's unconstitutional" side of things.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#35
this makes sense if and only if it applies to side effects that are openly stated on the product which GPs should inform you about anyway if they're prescribing it. even stuff like operations with GA, they're supposed to tell you going in that there's a risk of complications. in a lot of cases where doctors/clinics get sued for things like this (particularly aesthetic surgeons) they are competent professionals who informed the patient of the risks beforehand, they cannot be blamed for whatever happened, but people get angry that someone got hurt or died and sue and win which is rather unfair imo. anyway, for things like that your doctor is supposed to tell you what's going on and whether you are suitable for it; for smaller things like OTC medications it's your responsibility to read what's on the packaging and do the cost-benefit analysis yourself - the information is there for a reason
cat
#36
Quote by rockingamer2
Eh, try talking to people who strictly follow the Constitution. They take the "if it's not in the document, it's unconstitutional" side of things.


Nobody actually thinks that way. There are, of course, more strict schools of constitutional interpretation (like originalism). Historically, Democrats were very uncomfortable with loose interpretation, but now it's the Republicans.

Honestly, it's more about what's "in fashion" now. It's fashionable for conservatives to follow strict interpretation, and the opposite for Democrats.

Again, if anyone says that whatever isn't in the document is unconstitutional, point out to them that the SC is not mentioned.
#37
Quote by progdude93

Again, if anyone says that whatever isn't in the document is unconstitutional, point out to them that the SC is not mentioned.

That idea was much what I was trying to do. I appreciate your input though.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#38
IIRC, you were pointing out that judicial review is not itself in the Constitution. But the mandate for the THIRD BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT ISN'T IN THE CONSTITUTION.
#39
Quote by progdude93
IIRC, you were pointing out that judicial review is not itself in the Constitution. But the mandate for the THIRD BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT ISN'T IN THE CONSTITUTION.

I was tying to do the "if you think [X], here's something that you believe that contradicts [X]. I usually go with the "Supreme Court's final say on the constitutionality of things isn't in the Constitution, which in a way makes it unconstitutional" (but not really, it's just a fun fact that I like to bring up).

What do you mean about there is no third branch?
Quote by US Constitution, Article III, Section 1

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.


^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#40
Quote by guitarxo
for smaller things like OTC medications it's your responsibility to read what's on the packaging and do the cost-benefit analysis yourself - the information is there for a reason

And what about the information that is not there - like the known possibility the drug could cause a flesh eating side effect that will leave you severely and grotesquely disfigured??? How do you do the cost-benefit analysis if sufficient information required to make a complete analysis is withheld??

The point of this article is that the side effect was known but not listed yet the Supreme Court still ruled that the drug company has no liability even when not listing a severe side effect that they knew about.

Supreme Court failed. That shit is not right.

How did the tobacco companies get flogged and yet they can let this slide?
Si
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