Letter to the Editor: Drug makers and lawsuits

Los Angeles Times
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Re “Memos shed light on drug lawsuit dispute,” Oct. 30, and “High court looks split on suits against drug makers,” Nov. 4
Your article provides support for why injured consumers must be allowed to bring lawsuits against drug companies that market unsafe drugs. The documents described in the article show top career FDA officials internally expressing strong concern about the agency's rules immunizing drug companies from liability. This is an unprecedented policy advocated by the current White House, and the U.S. Supreme Court is now considering its legitimacy.
As the FDA officials noted, the agency cannot be solely relied on to make certain every drug that enters the marketplace is safe.
Liability is needed not only to ensure corporate accountability but also to make sure that the sick and injured are compensated. If the administration is successful in delivering its "get out of jail free card" to negligent drug companies, the temptation for them to cut corners to maximize profits will inevitably increase.
Andy Hoffman
New York
The writer is an attorney and policy analyst at the Center for Justice & Democracy.

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