Op-ed by ILR President Lisa Rickard on AL Supreme Court Prescription Drug Ruling

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September 16, 2014

Originally published in The Birmingham News

If you're a justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, you go to work every day knowing that your decisions will have a major impact on those few individuals connected to legal cases before the court. And on some days, your rulings will be felt by all of the citizens of your state.

But last month, the Alabama Supreme Court made a decision in a case called Wyeth v. Weeks that could have a profound impact on America's health care system. This decision contradicted more than a hundred federal and state courts that have ruled that the original inventors of life-saving medicines can be liable for the actions and products of other companies that subsequently manufacture the same drug as a "generic." This expansion of liability by the court could stifle innovation, lead to higher drug costs, and most importantly, limit the availability of life saving medicines to millions of Americans.

Two questions that arise are: how can one company be held liable for the actions of another, separate company? And when did the Alabama Supreme Court morph into the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and start setting national drug safety policy?

It is a decision that seems to benefit no one except the plaintiffs' lawyers.

Read the full post here.

09/16/2014