Drug Warning: Informing Patients Responsibility of Doc, Not Drug Makers
According to an article published in American Medical News (AMN) journal, the Texas Supreme Court has overruled an appeal that would hold drug makers responsible for informing consumers of associated risks. The court ruling states that it is the responsibility of the physician to report drug information and risks directly to patients.
The jurors on the case reported that the ruling was made under the belief that pharmaceutical companies do not need to supply information to a consumer when the physician engages with the patient directly. According to AMN, all U.S. states, with the exception of New Jersey and West Virginia, hold physicians liable for expressing the details of a drug to patients. Richard Samp, an attorney with the Washington Legal Foundation, said “Doctors are by far in the best position to provide warnings to patients.”
According to the article, the Texas Supreme Court ruling was initiated in the midst of a lawsuit filed by Texas resident, Patricia Hamilton, against Centocor Inc. for inadequate warnings about the potential side effects of one of their drugs, Remicade. Hamilton reported being shown a video about Remicade by her physician but accused the film of overemphasizing the drug’s benefits and failing to mention any warnings or possible side effects. Hamilton’s appeal was overturned by the court.
Mike Hull, general counsel for the Texas Alliance for Patient Access, stated that the doctrine of standards drug makers are expected to follow is outdated because so many patients get their drug information from TV, radio, and online instead of directly from their physicians. The Supreme Court of Texas counsel commented that the matter is not black and white and will be reexamined in the future on a case-by-case basis.
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