Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yale Physician Favors Preemption of Drug Cases

Dr. Peter McAllister, a clinical instructor in the Department of Neurology at Yale University, writes in an op-ed piece in the Providence Journal, "Having chased so many physicians out of medicine, trial lawyers now have begun to limit the number of treatments available to patients by filing lawsuit after lawsuit against drug makers."

He charges that in "focusing on whether a drug's label goes far enough to warn patients of any possible risk, lawyers force the FDA to constantly reevaluate warning labels, distracting the agency from its core mission of approving safe and effective drugs." The case of Wyeth v. Levine now pending before the Supreme Court, "could have a profound impact on what medicines are available to my patients," McAllister argues, because, "if the Supreme Court rules for the trial lawyers, the court may limit access to pharmaceuticals in same way that excessive litigation has cut patient access to physicians."

McAllister says what's at stake is an "important way to curb the negative influence of trial lawyers on patient access to quality health care:" pre-emption. "A ruling in favor of pre-emption will strike a blow to the trial lawyers' who profit from litigation at the expense of patient access to health care."

No comments: