Friday, November 02, 2007

The mandatory right to sue drug companies

That and more here.
Welch also argues that even if pharmaceutical companies were allowed to sell their drugs prior to approval, they have strong incentive not to do so. Anything that happens to a patient taking a drug in development could later be used to argue against approval, halting manufacture and denying that drug to future patients. And under current FDA regulations, patients cannot waive liability for negligence. Whether they want it or not, patients must have the right to sue, which means they may never be given the chance to take a risk.
I'd been wondering for a while now why drug companies don't just make their customers sign forms agreeing to private arbitration before making a sale. A typical juror's concept of negligence in this context is biologically, statistically, and ecomonically unenlightened. Complex cases are better decided by expert arbitrators. If the government would just get out of the way, private arbitration would become standard business practice for the pharmaceutical industry.


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