Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports That 41 Attorneys General Support Expansion of Liability Against Generic Drug Manufacturers
Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing clients in Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits and other dangerous drug litigations, reports that on May 11, 2012, the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) sent a letter to Senators Patrick J. Leahy and Al Franken in support of proposed legislation that would restore for consumers of generic drugs the same protections that exist for consumers of brand-name drugs. The May 11, 2012 letter, which was signed by attorneys general from 41 states, argued that “Consumers whose prescriptions happen to be filled with the brand-name version of a drug are protected by state law from inadequate warnings, but consumers whose pharmacists fill their prescriptions with the generic version are now denied this protection.” The NAAG letter highlighted that the “adverse consequences are magnified by the fact that over 70% of prescriptions in the United States are filled with generic drugs.”
Bernstein Liebhard LLP Partner Felecia L. Stern commented, “We are hopeful that Congress takes heed of the NAAG letter. One of the most difficult tasks we face is telling potential clients that we can’t help them because their medical records establish that they took a generic form of the medication at issue instead of the brand-name. This has come up countless times in the Fosamax lawsuits and we are facing similar issues in our other drug litigations.”
Legislation Would Prevent Dismissal Of Lawsuits Filed By Users Who Took Generic Forms Of Drugs Such As Zithromax and Fosamax
Currently, because of a recent Supreme Court decision, PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011), consumers alleging that generic manufacturers failed to adequately warn them of dangerous side effects have had their cases dismissed. According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, state laws requiring generic manufacturers to adequately warn consumers of dangerous side effects are preempted because current federal law permits only brand-name manufacturers to independently change label warnings. The proposed bill would overturn that ruling.
The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are hopeful that Congress adopts the “Patient Safety and Generic Labeling Improvement Act” (S.2295). Unfortunately, many individuals who have been injured as a result of taking the generic equivalent of drugs, such as Fosamax and Zithromax, have very limited legal recourse. This new law would hold manufacturers of generic and brand-name drugs similarly accountable to consumers for a failure to adequately warn of dangerous side effects. For example, individuals who took alendronate or azithromycin would be able to seek compensation for their injuries in the same manner as those filing Fosamax femur fracture or Zithromax lawsuits.
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country, for the past nine consecutive years. Only two firms in the country have been selected for the Hot List nine years in a row.
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