Michigan's Harmful Drug Industry Immunity - New Report from the Center for Justice & Democracy

Thursday, February 28, 2008

For Release:
February 28, 2008

Contact: Joanne Doroshow or Amanda Melpolder

New Report from the Center for Justice & Democracy

New York, NY – An unprecedented law in Michigan that prevents residents harmed by dangerous drugs from gaining access to the civil justice system has been devastating for Michiganders while failing to accomplish any promised economic benefits for the state concludes a new report, A Tragic Blunder:  Michigan’s Drug Industry Immunity Law, released today by the national consumer group Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D). According to the report, since the law went into effect in 1996, numerous unsafe drugs have been marketed with approval by the Food and Drug Administration that have killed or injured Michigan residents.  Unlike victims in any other state in the country, Michigan residents are barred from seeking compensation for these deaths or injuries.  Meanwhile, contrary to what the law’s proponents promised, thousands of good paying jobs in the pharmaceutical industry have left the state.

“What Michigan lawmakers accomplished with this law is exactly what the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to accomplish unsuccessfully for the last three decades in Congress and state legislatures around the country – eliminating their liability for marketing unsafe drugs, and shielding them from responsibility when their harmful products hurt or kill.” said Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director of CJ&D. “This law is especially harmful since the FDA has fallen down on its job of protecting the public.”

Report author Amanda Melpolder said, “Michigan is the only state in the nation that allows drug companies to escape accountability in this manner.  Every legislative session since the drug industry immunity law was passed, Michigan legislators have introduced legislation to repeal the law.  Michigan residents have been reaching out to their elected officials, the House of Representatives passed repeal legislation in January 2007, and Governor Jennifer Granholm expressed support for repeal in her recent State of the State address. There is real support for this repeal in Michigan.”

A complete copy of A Tragic Blunder:  Michigan’s Drug Industry Immunity Law can be found at the CJ&D website by clicking here Contact the Center for Justice & Democracy for additional information.

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