Article from nsnbc – 18th July 2013 – Earnest A. Canning *** (FFN).
In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that citizens who are severely injured, maimed or even killed by FDA-approved — but unreasonably dangerous — generic prescription drugs, have no right to seek compensation from the giant pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and market them to unsuspecting consumers, writes Ernest Canning.
In its 5-4 decision in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. vs. Bartlett [PDF](“Bartlett“), the Court annulled a $21 million judgment that had been awarded to New Hampshire resident Karen L. Bartlett. Her use of the generic drug, Sulindac, in 2004, produced catastrophic injuries when she suffered an acute toxic necrolysis (aka Stevens-Johnson Syndrome).
In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito described her injuries as “tragic” and acknowledged that over 65% of Bartlett’s body “was burned off, or turned into an open wound. She spent months in a medically induced coma, underwent 12 eye surgeries, and was tube fed for a year. She is now severely disfigured…and is nearly blind.”
For Alito, and the rest of the Court’s right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett’s injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma’s bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S.
Read on for rest of article on nsnbc:
* * *Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @Cann4ing.
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