2 Bad Supreme Court Decisions

The story in the LA Times, Supreme Court sides with pharmaceutical industry in two decisions, was in the first instance about suing over tardive dyskinesia developed by people using Reglan, a drug for digestion.

People in mental health treatment are also at risk for developing tardive dyskinesia due to the neuroleptic drugs some of them are prescribed for psychosis and bipolar mania. Lawyers know better than to try to mount such a defense for them. When they are not accorded the rights of full and complete citizens, of course, they don’t stand much of a chance of winning such a case in court.

Reporting from Washington— The Supreme Court gave the pharmaceutical industry a pair of victories, shielding the makers of generic drugs from most lawsuits by injured patients and declaring that drug makers have a free-speech right to buy private prescription records to boost their sales pitches to doctors.

What kind of “free-speech” is a boughtprivate prescription record”!? (Emphasis added.)

The government just entered the drug selling trade and, frankly, I don’t think that is a place where the government belongs.

The patients, Gladys Mensing and Julie Demahy, developed tardive dyskinesia, a severe neurological disorder, after taking metoclopramide, a generic form of the drug Reglan for digestive problems, including acid reflux. They sued, alleging that the drug maker failed to warn them of the danger of taking this drug for more than 12 weeks. Studies had suggested a potentially increased risk of the condition — and Reglan was eventually required to carry a “black box” warning about it. That wasn’t the case at the time.

Just imagine getting a permanent neurological movement disorder, a physical disability, from the drug you used to treat your gas, and then not being able to sue the company responsible for making it.

This decision means brand name drug makers can be sued, and generic drug makers can’t be sued. Go figure…

In the second decision, the court by a 6-3 vote struck down a Vermont law that barred pharmacies, drug makers and others from buying or selling prescription records from patients for marketing purposes. Vermont’s physicians had sought passage of the law, arguing that their prescriptions were intended for private use of patients and should not become a marketing tool.

Some people could be so desperate as to sell prescription records. You just have to wonder about Supreme Court Justices who are so desperate as to sell their rulings to the highest corporate bidder. I’m still looking for the freedom involved in such puppetry. I’m wondering who our politicians might have sold it to.