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From the Oklahoma House of Representatives press office:
On the same day that the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation increasing federal control over the local judiciary, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in total opposition.
Last Wednesday the House passed HB1603, a bill that – among other things – makes it virtually impossible to hold a drug or product manufacturer liable for the damage caused by a dangerous drug or product if a federal agency, such as the FDA, has approved it.
At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a strikingly similar rule – one which stated that Federal agency approval pre-empts state juries from holding drug manufacturers accountable.
“This is further evidence that the Republican majority in Oklahoma is moving our state in the wrong direction,” said Rep. Ryan Kiesel, D-Seminole. “While the Supreme Court is empowering state juries and protecting states’ rights, the Republican legislature is going out of its way to protect big pharmaceutical companies.”
Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, shared concerns that this provision of the bill would be overturned if signed into law.
“I voted against the bill in part because it would remove all accountability from makers of products such as Vioxx, which received FDA approval, but was later proven unsafe,” he said. “The Supreme Court ruled that the ability for individuals to seek redress in state courts is not detrimental, but it is a useful complement to federal regulators.
“The Supreme Court has restored an important piece in our system of checks and balances, even while state House leadership agreed to throw it out the window,” he added.
Read this article in the Houston Chronicle for more information on the case, Wyeth v. Levine.
Visit http://www.okwatchdog.org/inde… for more civil justice resources.
The unlikely bedfellows who filed briefs in support of the plaintiff, Vermont guitarist Diana Levine, who lost her arm and her livelihood because of an improperly administered drug, showed the case’s reach and significance. They include former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine; the National Conference on State Legislatures; consumer groups; two former FDA commissioners; the Texas Medical Association; a number of states, including Oklahoma; and the AARP.
Who filed briefs supporting Wyeth? Drugmakers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and defense attorneys, of course.
Read this chilling brief from former New England Journal of Medicine editors to understand how little FDA approval of drugs and medical devices really means.
Visit http://www.okwatchdog.org/user… to read the brief.