Generic Drug Companies Protected by Supreme Court Ruling

According to last Thursday’s ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, the makers of generic drugs cannot be sued for failing to sufficiently warn patients of their drugs’ dangerous side effects. Brand-name companies can still be held liable for patient injuries caused by insufficient warnings, but the same legal duty is not applicable to companies manufacturing generic versions of these medications. This is especially alarming given the fact that approximately 75 percent of the prescriptions written in the U.S. are for generic drugs.

Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, concluded that warning labels are the responsibility of both the makers of the brand-name drug therapy, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Justice Thomas went on to explain that because generic drugs are simply the copy-cat version of brand-name product, they should not be held liable for patient injuries caused by insufficient warnings.

Generic drugs are essentially incomplete copies of patented drugs, and based on the ruling by the Supreme Court, these incomplete drugs are being offered better protection than the originals. A large majority of people are now vulnerable to drug manufacturer negligence. Patients who are injured as a result of using generic drugs still deserve an avenue for recourse.

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