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Issues Arise Over Accountability for Generic Drug Companies

The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear oral arguments on a case involving the legal remedies available to patients who use generic drugs instead of the name brand equivalent. The case is being heard following a Supreme Court decision in a similar case two years ago in which the Court decided that the generic drugs companies were not responsible for immediately updating the labels on their packaging and for failing to warn patients about potentially dangerous side effects. According to Take Justice Back, the reason that this decision worries so many people is because without being held accountable for failing to take these safety measures, the generic drug companies no longer have a reason to immediately inform patients of any new discoveries or side effects relating to their medications.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, approximately eighty percent of all prescriptions filled are filled with a generic drug instead of the name brand version of that same drug. The reasons behind this high number of generic prescriptions are likely due to the often much lower prices for generic drugs which will provide the same results as the brand name version of that same drug. Many consumers are also not aware of the lack of accountability that the generic drug companies currently have with respect to warning customers using their product. A huge number of lawsuits have been dismissed since the Supreme Court ruling came down two years ago, simply because the drug companies involved in these lawsuits were generic drug companies and the laws as they stand did not apply to those drug companies.

The new case set to be argued in front of the Supreme Court involves this issue of creating a uniform labeling and warning standard and requirement for both generic and brand name prescription drug companies. There is also currently legislation in front of the Congress on this issue, and the Safety and Generic Labeling Act aims to schedule this discrepancy between the labeling and warnings with brand name and generic drugs.

Our Illinois personal injury attorneys believe that all drug companies must be held accountable in the same manner for warning the public about any known dangers or side effects relating to a drug they manufacture as soon as they become aware of the new issue. Patients being immediately made aware of a new danger or a drug interaction with a drug they are also currently taking could make the difference in someone’s life.