SCOTUS Rules on a Couple of Important Pharma Cases

June 27, 2011
59 Views

Clarence Thomas wrote for the 5-4 decision in which companies were shielded from lawsuits by consumers suffering from adverse effects of certain drugs. Anthony Kennedy, the SCOTUS justice often seen as the court’s swing vote, wrote for the majority opinion in another pharma case which strikes down a Vermont law that banned companies from using data mining techniques to obtain information about the prescription drugs individual doctors have a preference in prescribing.

Clarence Thomas wrote for the 5-4 decision in which companies were shielded from lawsuits by consumers suffering from adverse effects of certain drugs. Anthony Kennedy, the SCOTUS justice often seen as the court’s swing vote, wrote for the majority opinion in another pharma case which strikes down a Vermont law that banned companies from using data mining techniques to obtain information about the prescription drugs individual doctors have a preference in prescribing.

Federal law requires the makers of brand-name drugs to label their products with FDA-approved warning information and to update the warnings when reports of new problems arise. But in a 5-4 decision, the high court said this same legal duty to warn patients of newly revealed dangers did not extend to the makers of copy-cat generic drugs.

I actually agree with Thomas on this decision. Fed law should trump state law in this case. Generic formulations are essentially chemical equivalents of their branded predecessors and, as such, really cannot be held accountable to novel warnings not appearing on the branded parent drug. A ruling in the reverse could open the door to flurries of suits for a range of untoward events for a multitude of generics — only adding to the cost of already fiscally overburdened healthcare delivery at the outset of reform (emphasis below, mine).

In the second decision, the court by a 6-3 vote struck down a Vermont law that barred pharmacies, drug makers and others from buying or selling prescription records from patients for marketing purposes. […] Writing for the court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said that “information is speech,” and that under the 1st Amendment, the government usually cannot restrict speech because it does not approve of the message. “If pharmaceutical marketing affects treatment decisions,” he said, it does so because doctors find it persuasive”.

Exactly. This case highlights the effect Pharma representatives have always had on the prescribing patterns of physicians and protects the ultimate decision maker at the point of healthcare delivery — the provider. Is it any wonder why reps have been essentially banned from many healthcare systems in many markets nationwide? | LINK

Related posts:

  1. Senate Bill to Prohibit Competition-Stifling Move by Pharma Introduced Two-thousand nine is being dubbed “the year of the generic”….
  2. Supreme Court Ruling Offers Admonition to Big Pharma In a recent SCOTUS ruling, the high court decided 6-3 (Alito,…
  3. Obama’s Brand of Tort Reform Moves Toward State Rules With Respect to Product Liability In the march toward his overall healthcare reform plan, President…

 

You may be interested

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society
Health care
339 views
Health care
339 views

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society

Helen Heather - August 23, 2017

The United States remains the only country in the world without a universal healthcare system. Many critics have stated that…

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers
Mobile Health
13 views
Mobile Health
13 views

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers

Larry Alton - August 21, 2017

Telemedicine is considered a powerful tool for individuals living in rural areas, far from adequate services or in need of…

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…