Top US court to hear arguments over generic drugmaker liability
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could decide whether generic drugmakers can be held liable for alleged flaws in the designs of their medications, even though federal law requires generic manufacturers to copy the brand drugmaker's design.
The case, closely watched by pharmaceutical companies, regulators and lawyers, could determine the extent to which individuals can hold generic drug manufacturers liable for injuries allegedly caused by their copycat products.
Mutual Pharmaceutical Co has asked the high court to overturn a US$21 million jury award to Ms Karen Bartlett, a New Hampshire woman who took Mutual's generic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, sulindac, in 2004 after her doctor prescribed it for shoulder pain.
Mutual, based in Philadelphia, is a unit of URL Pharma, owned by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and manufactures dozens of generic drugs ranging from antibiotic doxycycline to the antifungal nystatin.