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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Stalled suits against drugmakers proceeding after Supreme Court preemption decision.

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Bloomberg News (4/30, Fisk, Feeley) reports, "Just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court decided patients can sue drugmakers over injuries from medicines approved by the government, long-stalled lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. are again moving toward trials." On March 4, the Supreme Court ruled that "federal regulatory approval of a medicine and information about side effects doesn’t shield drugmakers from claims that patients and doctors weren’t adequately warned." Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, stated that "Congress did not intend FDA oversight to be the exclusive means of ensuring drug safety and effectiveness." The ruling has "already affected more than 250 lawsuits involving at least 10 companies that were in limbo before the ruling." Glaxo has "settled two cases on claims its antidepressant Paxil can make patients suicidal, after judges set trials citing the Wyeth decision." Meanwhile, "a group of Bristol-Myers lawsuits over the blood-thinner Plavix may now proceed to trial in federal court."