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Supreme Court grants victory to generic drug companies

Divided decision diverges from 2009 ruling

Chalk one up for the drug companies. In a hotly contested decision, the Supreme Court yesterday ruled in Pliva, Inc. v. Mensing that generic drug companies are immune from consumer lawsuits alleging misleading product labeling.

In a 5-4 decision, Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the Court’s opinion, stating that inadequate labeling suits against generic drug makers are pre-empted by federal drug regulations. Yesterday’s ruling, however, deviates from Wyeth v. Levine, a 2009 case in which the Court decided that FDA regulations cannot protect brand-name pharmaceutical companies from being sued under state law for the same types of mislabeling issues.

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