Supreme Court Rules Generic Drugs are not Equivalent
With help from five corporate champions that sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, generic drug giant Teva has cracked the world’s top ten drug makers in profits. The world’s largest generic drug maker, however, falls far shy of the top ten list for drug companies that are treated like most adults, those that are required by law to accept accountability for the products they market and sell.
U.S. Supreme Court grants Teva Rare Gift
The U.S. Supreme Court five granted Teva the rare gift of billions in untethered profits by ruling the drug maker is not accountable for its products. The highest court overturned jury verdicts against generic drug makers in Mensing vs. PLIVA and Bartlet vs. Mutual Pharmaceuticals, giving Teva and other international generic drug makers carte blanche to injure Americans without having to pay any penalty for the privilege. People who have been injured with a permanent movement disorder – tardive dyskinesia – after taking Teva’s generic version of the drug Reglan, have been hit especially hard by this tragic miscarriage of justice.
People Injured by Generic Reglan
Judicial Dissent in Pliva v. Mensing
Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the scathing minority response to being on the short end of a 5-4 vote that turned justice on its head, leaving thousands of injured people without recourse to pursue their drug injury claims. Her bristling dissent stated that the Court “invents new principles of pre-emption law out of thin air to justify its dilution of the impossibility standard.” The country’s supreme justices had, for more than 100 years, right up until the corporate-friendly Roberts court came into being, always begun with a presumption against preemption, negating the notion that state tort laws could be preempted by federal laws when products injured people. The Roberts’ court’s activist rulings in Mensing and Bartlett also assure that generic drugs are NOT equivalent, which is in complete contradiction to congressional intent – via the Hatch-Waxman Amendment in 1984 – to place cheaper generic drugs on the market which are equivalent to their brand name precursors. Generic drugs are not equivalent today in any meaningful legal sense. Justice Sotomayor also authored the scathing minority’s dissent in the 5-4 vote that overturned another jury verdict for a plaintiff – Mutual Pharmaceuticals v. Bartlett.
Teva thrives as Citizens Rights vanish
Thanks in part to the high court, Teva (based in Israel), the largest generic drug maker in the world, and the only one to crack the world’s top 10 drug makers in profits – has joined the list of the most profitable brand boys in the big game, including Pfizer (USA), Merck & Co. (USA), GlaxoSmithKline (UK), AstraZeneca (USA), Eli Lilly & Co. (USA), Abbott Laboratories (USA), Novartis (Switzerland), Roche Holding (Switzerland) and Sanofi (France).
Teva’s Generic Profits rival Drug Brands
Teva has been given a monstrous advantage by the Supreme Court five (easily remembered as RATS – Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia – and Kennedy) which lets generic drug makers operate in a world rich with profits but short on responsibility for monitoring the safety of their products or changing their drug labels in timely fashion. Even though generic drug makers can take over a market to the point where the brand name drug is not even available anymore (which you probably already know if you’ve filled a prescription lately and inquired about the brand drug), the generic makers are still not held to the same standard the branders were where when they controlled the lion’s share of the drug market.
Teva buys Auspex for $3.2 Billion
Profits without accountability has proved such a winning combination for Teva that the generic giant has now been able to pay several millions in fines for secretly paying doctors to promote Teva drugs and to spend billions in buying up competitors. This week Teva bought drug maker Auspex for $3.2 billion.
Teva also breaks Laws like Branders
Teva has also been fined in the millions – like its brand-name, top-ten-A-listers like GlaxoSmithKline and Merck – for bribing doctors to illegally promote its drugs. Now that the generic giant has proven it has all it takes to play with the big boys, maybe the Supreme Court will now treat it like an adult and hold it accountable for its actions the next time the generic giant sends corporate lawyers to plead its case to be released from responsibility when its drugs have been found to have hurt someone.