Friday, March 25, 2011
Case we will hear at SCOTUS
Actavis Elizabeth, LLC v. Mensing (Docket No 09-1039), Actavis Inc. v. Demahy (Docket No. 09-1501) &
PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing (Docket No. 09-993)
The Supreme Court will determine whether individuals injured by generic versions of brand-name drugs can bring state-court lawsuits for failure to warn of dangerous side effects.
These three cases have been consolidated into one hour of oral argument. Reglan and its generic equivalent, metoclopramide, are used to treat gastrointestinal symptoms caused by diabetes. The plaintiffs in this case developed a serious neurological condition after taking the generic version of Reglan. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that failure-to-warn claims are not preempted by the Federal Food and Drug Act, which regulates the contents of drug labels. The generic manufacturers claim that their situation is different. Because the generic label must be identical to its brand-name counterpart, the generic manufacturers argue that they cannot be sued for failure to warn as long as they reproduced the brand-name label accurately. The Fifth and Eighth Circuits ruled against the manufacturers, who appealed to the Supreme Court.
Oral Argument is scheduled for March 30, 2011.