CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Jan 23, 2009

Supreme Court Denies Review in Conte v. Wyeth: Decision Exposes Manufacturers to Lawsuits for Products They Didn’t Make

SACRAMENTO — Today, January 22, 2009, the California Supreme Court announced its decision not to review the case holding drug maker Wyeth liable for injuries to a patient who took a generic version of a drug that Wyeth pioneered but didn’t sell to her.

The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) released the following statement from President John H. Sullivan on the court’s decision not to review Conte v. Wyeth.

“It makes no sense to tie a company’s product liability to a drug that it invented but has lost patent protection,” Sullivan said. “Once a drug goes on the market as a generic — with manufacturing, label information, and distribution all coming from a different company — then anyone taking the generic on the advice of a doctor who relied on the generic’s information should go to the generic manufacturer for compensation if any injury occurs.”

“To let a lawsuit go back to the company that pioneered the medicine is adding insult to injury and diluting the basis of liability law,” he added.

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