Friday, February 20, 2009


Georgia Rejects "Michigan Model" Preemption

According to reports (which will be updated), a key legislative committee in Georgia has voted _not_ to vote a "Michigan model" preemption bill out of committee. This was a stinging rejection both of the Governor, who has been lobbying for the bill, and for many of the same people involved in creating and defending Michigan's 1995 Ground Zero FDA Preemption law. (They have been actively lobbying in Georgia in recent weeks.)

It is reported that an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of the Republican-dominated committee supported the rejection of the bill. And that even hardened "tort reformers" chose not to support a law which they viewed as bad for Georgia, bad for consumers' rights, and ultimately bad for the industry itself.

More info as it arrives.


  1. For some time, I have been arguing that preemption would most likely hurt the industry in the long run. I hadn't realized others had made the same argument.

    Found this piece by Matt Herper in Forbes to the same effect:

  2. Justice - I agree with you about the damage that preemption will do to our pharmaceutical industry.

    Who depends on whom? The pharmaceutical companies (preemption portion) feel that consumers are dependent on them. To an extent we are but the other half of the equation is that the pharmaceutical companies are dependent on the consumer. To a much greater extent.

    Preemption allows pharma a degree of grandiose that will eventually trip them up. It won't take but a few Vioxx incidents before pharma will find themselves scrambling to explain how they think they have the right to this special privilege.
    Double talk and fact-less assumptions do not suffice now and certainly will not with headlines from NBC, CBS and all the rest -

    Thousands Harmed By The Drug Xxxx, Company Claims Exemption From Liability

  3. yup. Katrina has already hit the industry and the levies are down. When the next one comes, which is inevitable, and people realize the recourse they don't have.....

    Not pretty.

  4. Of course, I meat the levees are down.

    If the Levies were down, that would be a stimulus package indeed.

  5. Where was Engler when they needed him?

  6. The Senate of Georgia Economic Development Committee will be meeting next week to discuss this topic. Here is the agenda:

    In the meantime check out this opinion piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

  7. Glad Is. Thanks for the links. And how are you? It's been too long.

    For those who don't like pasting in, here is the editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    By Jay Cook

    For the Journal-Constitution

    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    A little over four years ago, a veteran Federal Drug Administration scientist rocked the pharmaceutical industry with Senate testimony that exposed a legalized conflict of interest that was endangering the health and safety of the American public: the FDA’s funding depends largely on the success of products of the industry it regulates. “The FDA is incapable of protecting America from unsafe drugs or from another Vioxx,” Dr. David Graham warned.

    Gov. Sonny Perdue has introduced a bill promising freedom from liability to Georgia-based pharmaceutical companies that sell FDA-approved drugs and devices. The bill would make it nearly impossible for Georgians to sue for injuries caused by these products. He claims it will lure more businesses to Georgia and “protect Georgia companies from personal injury lawyers.” But who will protect consumers from pharmaceutical companies that care more about profits than people? Obviously not the FDA.

    Gov. Perdue calls his bill “tort reform.” But it’s got “rulebook rigging” written all over it. Rulebook rigging is my term for industries or special interest groups that try to game the system so they can legalize putting profits ahead of public safety.

    Unfortunately, rulebook rigging isn’t limited to the FDA. The Consumer Products Safety Commission, OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency, among other public safety watchdogs, also have been cut to the bone or reconfigured to cater to the industries they’re supposed to be policing.

    If we need evidence (beyond Vioxx, Rezulin, fen-phen and Bextra) of the disastrous consequences of allowing industries to neuter their own government watchdogs, we need only look to Wall Street.

    But even without such preferential oversight, consumers have only one place to turn when something goes wrong: our civil justice system.

    But that protection, too, is being undermined thanks to tort “reform” —- another rulebook rigging scam. To date, the powerful special interests pushing these “reforms” have spent more than $1 billion to brainwash us (and get a tax deduction) with contrived horror stories about how lawsuits are driving up insurance rates and putting good doctors out of business. The truth is that lawsuits, which have no impact on insurance rates, don’t put good doctors out of business —- but, thanks to “reform” —- lawsuits can’t hold bad ones accountable, either. Meanwhile, health care costs and insurance rates are still skyrocketing.

    Our elected state representatives, who capped damages on medical malpractice lawsuits four years ago, seem to have forgotten that the civil justice system is there to enforce the rulebook of fair play, to keep America and Americans safe and to deter and punish wrongful behavior that injures others. Or have they?

    The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves. They handed down government regulations and impartial civil juries for a reason: to promote public trust and safety and to keep our rights from being trampled by tyrants with too much power and money and too little humanity. They understood that America needed more than the free market economy to enforce the practice of fair play because they knew that not everyone plays fair. As James Madison, father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, wrote: “If men were angels we would need no government.”

    It may not be too late to preserve our legacy. But first we must stop listening to the fear-mongering flim-flam of rulebook riggers and start seeing the game for what it really is: a con to pocket higher profits at the expense of our safety and our sacred right to liberty and justice for all. Shouldn’t the American Dream be about more than money?

    > Jay Cook is president of the board of directors of the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation and a past president of the State Bar of Georgia.

  8. Hey Pips. I came in on Amtrak, around midnight. I'm cool. You?

  9. Drug Xxxx is already here. As are several others. It took several years for Vioxx and then Bextra/Celebrex to come out. Even if preemption turns out 'badly' in the long run and is repealed. The companies who want preemption now will be protected for Drug Xxxx that company and the others especially the current execs will walk away with billions. Just like with the financial mess the taxpayers will be stuck with the bill to clean up the mess and guess who happens to make the treatments. they know preemption will only be rolled back after the fact when it's too late. But they will have dumped the stock by then and moved on.

    An FDA reviewer who can identify drug Xxxx

  10. Glad Is - squaking' along, as you'd expect.

    I am going to surmise that Drug Xxxxx is Vytorin and/or Zetia. Second choice, Avandia. Beyond that - one of the neuro drugs.

    There may, indeed, be X, Y, and Z.

  11. For balance, click on my name to read a pro tort reform opinion piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    By the way, where is Joshua Sharfstein?

  12. Ah, Dan Pero. One of our Michigan boys, who was more than active in defending preemption here.

    As far as pharma jobs, it is an extraodinary sleight of hand. Pero refers to the "thousands" of pharma jobs that came to the state after 2000. He does not refer to the many more thousands that split the state a few years later, when Pfizer decamped.


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