Supreme Court Rules Drug Companies Exempt from Lawsuits in 5-4 Vote
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
In a 5 to 4 vote, the US Supreme Court has absolved pharmaceutical companies, and over 80 percent of all drugs prescribed in the US, of legal liability for a long list of ill deeds including fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death.
This decision happened as a response to a lower court’s ruling concerning a victim who took a pharmaceutical drug and had a severely adverse reaction that caused the patient to be completely disfigured when the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect. The side effect was known by the drug maker and yet, was not labeled. The lower court ruled that the drug maker would have to label all future drugs with this side effect but the Supreme Court left the corporations who make these drugs completely exempt from future lawsuits, and said the victim ‘had no legal grounds to sue.’
Karen Bartlett tried to sue Mutual Pharmaceutical Company after taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Sulindac due to a sore shoulder. It was this drug that caused ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’ just three weeks after taking the pharmaceutical. Her flesh began to peel off so badly it resembled a third degree burn.
How is it that pharmaceutical companies can continue to put people’s health in jeopardy in such atrocious ways without being culpable?
When Bartlett sued in a New Hampshire state court, including the fact that there was no warning about the possible flesh-eating side effect, she won the case and was awarded $21 million in damages. The FDA then went on to force both Mutual Pharma and Merck & Co. to include warnings on drug labels going forward, but nine years later, the Supreme Court has overturned that ruling. The higher court stated as reason for their verdict, ‘all generic drugs and their manufacturers [over 80% of all drugs prescribed in the US] are exempt from liability for side effects.’ The court has essentially given the FDA ultimate authority over pharmaceutical use in the US.
One critic, Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, as reported by Reuters, stated, “Today’s court decision provides a disincentive for generic makers of drugs to monitor safety of their products and to make sure that they have a surveillance system in place to detect adverse events that pose a threat to patients.”
I dare say this is not nearly a harsh enough criticism. Considering Big Pharma and Big Agriculture are being given carte blanche to determine what is good for people’s health and the FDA is bought and paid for by special interest groups, we should be more than ‘surveying’ the damage. Here is an obvious listing of conflicts of interest when it comes to public health matters, and the incestuous relationship between Big Pharma/Big Agriculture corporations and the FDA:
- Larry Combest (Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and former Attorney General John Ashcroft were the congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the last election (Source: Dairy Education Board)
- Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas (who put GW Bush into office) was a lawyer for Monsanto.
- Anne Veneman was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation, and is now the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
- Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors for Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals.
- The governor of Wisconsin, and the U.S. Secretary of Health, Tommy Thompson, received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto while running for his gubernatorial office.
“Agricultural biotechnology will find a supporter occupying the White House next year, regardless of which candidate wins the election in November.” – Monsanto In-house Newsletter, 2000
This Supreme Court ruling will effectively absolve Monsanto and all other companies, Syngenta, Merck, Dow, Bayer, etc. from any lawsuits that would hold them accountable for the damage they are doing to public health. We are all being poisoned with an endless loop of toxic foods which cause cancer, inflammation, reproductive issues, organ failure and more, and then ‘medicines’ that address the very issues caused by toxic food and a toxic environment. It’s a sick, tortuous plan. Unless we find a way to stop these corporate entities from controlling our governments, like India has with its recent refusal to patent Monsanto maize, we will have signed our own death certificates.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.
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