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Pharma Companies Swat Down Novel Theories Of Product Liability

Executive Summary

For the last five years, brand name companies have been pulled into court to battle claims that they are liable for injuries caused by a generic version of their drug

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California bill would eliminate “learned intermediary” defense

A bill introduced in California Feb. 22 would declare that "manufacturers of prescription pharmaceutical products shall not be relieved of a duty to warn consumers of the risks and side effects solely because the product was prescribed to a patient by a physician." This would strip away the learned intermediary defense, which holds that a drug manufacturer does not need to warn each patient of a product's risks if it warns the prescribing physician. The West Virginia Supreme Court is the only court that has rejected the doctrine (1"The Pink Sheet," Nov. 26, 2007, p. 15)

California bill would eliminate “learned intermediary” defense

A bill introduced in California Feb. 22 would declare that "manufacturers of prescription pharmaceutical products shall not be relieved of a duty to warn consumers of the risks and side effects solely because the product was prescribed to a patient by a physician." This would strip away the learned intermediary defense, which holds that a drug manufacturer does not need to warn each patient of a product's risks if it warns the prescribing physician. The West Virginia Supreme Court is the only court that has rejected the doctrine (1"The Pink Sheet," Nov. 26, 2007, p. 15)

Vioxx Ruling May Curtail Health Plan Class Actions Against Drug Companies

Third-party payers may find it more difficult to bring consumer fraud class actions against pharmaceutical companies following a state court ruling in Vioxx litigation

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