US court rules that patients harmed by generic drugs cannot claim damages

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4079
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The US Supreme Court has ruled that patients who developed side effects from a generic drug cannot sue the manufacturers for giving inadequate warnings on their labels because federal law requires the makers of generic drugs to use the same labelling as the branded version of the drug.

Gladys Mensing and Julie Demahy developed tardive dyskinesia from long term use of metoclopramide, also sold under the brand name Reglan. They were prescribed Reglan in 2001 and 2002 but their pharmacists dispensed a generic version of the drug, which is used to treat digestive tract problems.

State …

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