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California Congressman Henry Waxman Seeks Ways to Hold Makers of Generic Medication Liable for Dangerous Drugs

December 31, 1969

If you or someone you love suffered severe health complications from taking a prescription drug or an over-the-counter medication, do not hesitate to contact our Anaheim personal injury law firm right away. At Howard Law, PC, we represent clients with claims stemming from defective and dangerous products.

Dangerous drugs can lead to serious health issues that warrant financial compensation if the negligence of the pharmaceutical company (or other parties, such as those that were involved in the chain of production of the medication,) was a factor. Suing a drug company can be daunting and it is definitely not the type of case you should pursue without experienced legal help.

For instance, pursuing damages over health complications or a death from a generic drug has become even more challenging since last year when the US Supreme Court ruled that under state law generic drug companies cannot be sued over allegations that they did not provide warnings about possible side effects that a medication might cause. The ruling, which was a victory for Mylan Inc.'s UDL Laboratories, Actavis Inc., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. by a 5-4 vote, overturned appeals court decisions that allowed for such complaints.

The defendants had contended that federal law not only bars such lawsuits if a drug is FDA-approved, but also it mandates that the generic version and the brand name med have the same drug label. The high court's ruling found that companies of generic drugs don't control the labels of the content and therefore cannot be sued.

Since then, a number of dangerous drug lawsuits seeking damage over generic drugs have been dismissed. However, this does not mean you should not explore your legal options. You could still have grounds for a products liability case. Not only that, but there could be other parties other than the generic drug maker that should be held responsible.

"The health complications that have been known to arise because a drug proved too dangerous to use can be catastrophic and even fatal," said Orange County, California products liability lawyer Vincent Howard. "Our Anaheim injury law firm helps victims and their families with the task of recovering damages from the ones that were responsible."

Fortunately, not everyone agrees with Supreme Court's ruling. Even Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) who co-wrote the Hatch-Waxman Act that is related to the high court's decision in that this law lets companies bypass the extensive process for getting the generic version of a brand-name drug approved, sided against the drug companies. He submitted an opposition brief noting that Congress never meant for generic companies to not be held liable or for consumers that chose to buy a generic drug instead of its brand counterpart to lose their right to sue. (The Supreme Court said its decision would undoubtedly not make a lot of sense to generic drug user plaintiffs but that it was not its job to change the regulations and the law but that of Congress and the FDA.) Last year, consumer advocacy group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to grant generic drug makers more control over their labels, which would make it easier for victims to sue.

"Never assume that you don't have grounds for a case unless you talk to experienced legal representation first," said Anaheim dangerous drug attorney Vincent Howard.

Generic Drugs Proving Resistant to Damage Suits, The New York Times, March 21, 2012

Read Public Citizen's petition to the Food and Drug Administration

Hatch-Waxman Act

More Blog Posts:

Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Seeks Blames Children's Tylenol for Toddler's Death, California Injury Lawyers, January 6, 2012

Yasmin/Yaz Birth Control Pills: FDA Advisory Panel Advises Including Blood Clot Warning on Their Labels, California Injury Lawyers, December 31, 2011

$48.1M Los Angeles Products Liability Verdict Awarded to Man That Took Motrin and Developed SJS and TEN, California Injury Lawyers, October 7, 2011

To request your free consultation with Orange County, California products liability attorney Vincent Howard, contact Howard Law, PC today.