In August I blogged about the North Carolina Medical Society filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Wyeth v. Levine.
The case stemmed from an incident in 2000 when a professional guitarist in Vermont named Diane Levine got a shot of migraine headache medicine and ended up having her arm amputated after the onset of gangrene.
A jury found that the drug company Wyeth had faulty labeling on its medicine that did not sufficiently warn doctors about the possible dangers of incorrectly injecting the drug Phenergan. Wyeth argued that if the label was good enough for the FDA it should be good enough for Vermont.
The NCMS filed a brief on the side of Levine. Docs were worried that if patients were barred from suing drug companies then people might sue physicians instead.
Yesterday the Supreme Court decided in favor of Levine and the NCMS, which means that states can require drug companies and medical device makers to meet stricter standards than those set by the FDA. It’s great that the NCMS was on the right side of the issue regardless of motivation.