If you suffer a terrible injury from taking a generic prescription drug, you have no legal recourse. So ruled the U.S. Supreme Court last year in a case that divided along political lines with five conservative justices throwing a new lifeline of legal protection to the generic drug industry.
Now the consequences of that decision are being borne out as hundreds of patients injured by generic drugs are finding their lawsuits thrown out of court. Some of their stories are gathered by the New York Times in a new report on this arbitrary distinction between generic drugs without legal recourse but brand names where the injured consumer still can sue.
Since the Supreme Court’s ruling is not based on the Constitution but just its own interpretation of the wording of the Food and Drug Act and the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration, either Congress or the FDA could fix this problem. But that means politics, and the powerful drug industry will fight hard to protect its advantages. Stay tuned to see if anything happens legislatively to reverse this unfair decision.