This is huge. Drug manufacturers have been saying for a long time that since the FDA approved their drugs as safe that consumers could not sue them for any deleterious effects. The Supreme Court has declared that is bullshit.
The 6-3 decision upheld $6.7 million in damages to a musician from Vermont who lost an arm to gangrene after being injected in 2000 with an anti-nausea drug manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
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"Congress did not intend FDA oversight to be the exclusive means of ensuring drug safety and effectiveness," Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion.
Noting that the federal agency "has limited resources to monitor the 11,000 drugs on the market," Stevens said Congress in more than 70 years of regulating pharmaceuticals has never barred damage suits against drugmakers. Despite FDA oversight, he said, "the manufacturer bears responsibility for the content of its label."