Reglan PA cases Limbo

Generic Reglan/Metoclopramide cases filed in state court in Penn. continue to sit in the legal limbo the U.S. Supreme Court’s PLIVA v. Mensing decision of 2011 placed them in  when the court ruled 5-4 to essentially give generic drug makers a free liability pass.

A panel of three Pennsylvania Superior Court met in November to hear oral arguments to determine the fate of more than 2,300 Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas cases in which plaintiffs allege that generic versions of metoclopramide (brand name: Reglan) caused them incurable neurological disease of tardive dyskinesia. A panel of three Penn. Superior Court judges heard arguments from the brand-name maker, Wyeth; the generic drug makers; and a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes asked whether, if all brand-name manufacturers withdrew from the market and left only generic drugs available, would that mean “plaintiffs who are injured can sue no one”? Defense argued that only Congress can fix the conundrum of liability issues left in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Mensing decision.

A Penn. lawyer, Howard Bashman, who represented all the plaintiffs, said that Mensing did not pre-empt two types of failure-to-warn claims: failing to update labeling and failing to communicate the actual label to prescribers.