With the Wyeth v. Levine case slated to be argued soon, preemption continues to stay in the news, and one of the biggest stories came out earlier this week when the Journal of the American Medical Association announced that they were opposing the pharmaceutical industry and the government in the preemption fight.
The statement echoes my concerns that the government tests aren’t adequate to protect the public. The doctors write:
…clinical trials don’t identify the full risks and complete safety profile of new drugs…the drug and device regulation process is at best an inexact and incomplete science. Until these deficiencies in the system are remedied, some patients inevitably will continue to experience harm from the use of newly marketed products as well as from use of other approved medications…
They also recognize that the tort system plays an integral part in protecting patients. They write, "…until the system of approving drugs and monitoring their safety improves markedly…patients will need legal recourse against pharmaceutical makers…" If the Supreme Court sides with Wyeth, "patients will lose an irreplaceable method for seeking remedies for injuries resulting from pharmaceutical agents that were approved by the FDA."
Interestingly, this isn’t the first statement from the medical industry opposing complete immunity preemption. The New England Journal of Medicine filed an amicus brief in the case opposing preemption.
Now if we can only get them to consider the same issues on tort reform….