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The clinical value of drug litigation

Executive Summary

Litigation against pharma companies can result in better definition of drug risks, Harvard University Medical School's Aaron Kesselheim and Jerry Avorn argue in a Jan. 17 JAMA article. In several cases involving SSRIs and COX-2s, lawsuits produced useful data that previously had not been publicly released, the authors say. Suits could also motivate "proper disclosure initially by presenting the possibility of substantial damages in cases of misconduct." Describing litigants as "drug safety researchers of last resort," the essay criticizes FDA's effort to pre-empt product liability claims (1"The Pink Sheet" Aug. 28, 2006, p. 7)...

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