Supreme Court Amicus Brief Regarding Wyeth V. Diana Levine
28 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008 Last revised: 27 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 2008
Prominent in arguments opposing preemption of state tort law liability for alleged inadequacies in prescription drug labeling is the argument that such liability can complement FDA regulation by improving on a regulatory scheme that fails to provide adequate deterrence against the marketing of unsafe or inadequately labeled drugs. The premise of this argument is faulty. Fundamental principles of economics and numerous studies of FDA drug regulation reveal that FDA in fact errs on the side of overregulation of prescription drugs. Product liability litigation focused solely on one side of the prescription drug public health equation leads to further distortions of the drug approval and labeling process and exacerbates FDA's inherent overly cautious approach. Preemption of state tort law where it conflicts with FDA requirements will minimize these distortions and thereby maximize public health.
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