You may want to think twice before taking any more generic copies of brand-name pharmaceutical drugs, thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling that effectively eliminates manufacturer liability in injury cases resulting from negative side effects. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court recently overturned a $21 million judgment awarded to a New Hampshire woman injured by a generic pain drug, declaring in the process that generic drug manufacturers cannot be sued when the drugs they produce injure patients.

Since generic drugs are mere replicas of brand-name drugs that, at one time, were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “safe,” generic drug manufacturers are exempt from being held liable in the event of injuries caused by harmful side effects. This is the opinion of the majority of the Supreme Court anyway, which has now made it that much harder for members of the public to seek remedy for injuries caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

According to Reuters, the ruling affects lawsuits filed under state law, which allegedly conflict with federal regulatory guidelines as they pertain to safety approval for brand-name drugs. When it comes to federal versus state law, federal always tends to win these days, which means the big boys in the drug industry basically get to call all the shots. And if you are injured by a drug, in this case a generic drug, well then tough luck for you.

Generic drug companies granted total immunity against all lawsuits from patients harmed by side effects, 7/10/13

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