No Legal Recourse for Injuries from Generic Drugs

When a person suffers injuries from a generic drug, there may be no recourse in a court of law. Unfortunately, one Massachusetts family had to discover this the hard way. A report done by a local CBS affiliate on the Steele family illustrates how patients taking generic drugs could be at risk due to a legal loophole. Alisa Steele was prescribed Ondansetron, the generic form of Zofran, for her morning sickness. The drug had never been tested for use in pregnant women and had only been approved for use in cancer patients to treat nausea while undergoing chemotherapy. Even though studies have linked Zofran to an increased risk of birth defects, current law does not allow generic drug manufacturers to be sued when their identical drug injures someone. Alisa Steele gave birth to a baby girl who was born with a congenital heart defect, one of the birth defects potentially caused by Zofran use during pregnancy. While the Steele’s are unable to pursue a claim against the makers of Ondansetron, they are hopeful that they can convince a judge that brand manufacturers should be held liable for their generic copies. and some

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Innovator Liability in Massachusetts

After reading this article I wanted to see how Massachusetts’ courts had ruled on the issue of innovator liability. A majority of them found that brand name manufacturers were not liable for injuries caused by use of their identical generic versions. The courts’ reasoning seemed to be summed up in its holding in Kelly v. Wyeth where it stated “a manufacturer of one product owes no duty of care to one who did not use their product.” Kelly v. Wyeth, 2005 WL 4056740, at 5 (Mass. Super. May 6, 2005)

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