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Cyrus Dugger

Another Reason Why FDA Approval Immunity is Bad for Michigan

Henry Greenspan has spoken out about the horrible effects of granting immunity from civil liability to the manufacturers of drugs simply because they secure FDA approval.

Here is the intro to his post:

Big Noise From The Mitten State: PART I --The Natives Get Restless As Cyrus Dugger has reported for Tort Deform, Michigan has the distinction of being the only state in the nation in which drug companies enjoy absolute immunity from civil liability. Before former Governor John Engler went Texan and started talking about "jackpot justice" and the like, he created his own hellhole right here at home. In 1995, he got the state legislature to pass a law that banned civil action against pharmaceutical manufacturers if their drugs had received FDA approval--a particularly draconian version of what we now call "FDA preemption." Thus, for the past ten years, Michigan residents (or their survivors) who have been injured by fen-phen, Rezulin, Baycol, Vioxx, and the dozen other drugs that have been withdrawn because of safety problems have been shut out of court. Because of our statute, Michiganders who have tried to file in federal court or in other states have also been denied. (link to full post)

Here is a development that further drives home the point that mere FDA approval should not and cannot be the last and only means of protecting us from harmful drugs and the occasional negligence (or worse) of the drug manufacturers which produce them:

"Former FDA chief pleading guilty to not reporting financial interest in companies

[JURIST] Dr. Lester Crawford [official website], a veterinarian who served briefly as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] last year, will plead guilty to failure to disclose his financial interest in companies regulated by the agency, his lawyer said Monday. Crawford is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday to enter guilty pleas to charges of false writing and conflict of interest - misdemeanors with a combined maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. The charges resulted from a grand jury investigation [JURIST report] begun after the New York Times reported [text] that financial disclosure forms from Crawford and his wife showed they had sold shares in FDA-regulated companies, such as Embrex, Sysco, Teleflex and PepsiCo [corporate websites]. In fact, Crawford's lawyer said Monday, the couple retained ownership of the shares, resulting in "errors and omissions" on the disclosure forms." (link to full article)

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 16, 2006 in FDA
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