Two Groups Join Forces Against Device Preemption and Michigan's Shield Law
(yes, an issue dear to some of our hearts....)
Two Anti-preemption Groups Unite
For release, April 20. 2009
Americans for Drug and Device Accountability (ADDA) and Justice in Michigan (JIM) have announced their consolidation into a single organization dedicated to fighting FDA preemption in the drug and device arenas, and on both the state and national levels. Their updated website is http://pharmaccountability.org/.
ADDA was formed one year ago and consists of business people, patient advocates, healthcare professionals, and concerned citizens. Members represent the full political spectrum—from conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats. They also include current and former employees of the pharmaceutical industry who agree that FDA preemption is bad policy—a disaster for patient rights, public health, and industry accountability. A petition initiated last year quickly gathered nearly 1,000 signatures and comments, including those of Dr. David Graham of FDA, Dr. Joel Lexchin, Dr. Doug Bremner, Dr. Howard Brody, Vera Sharav, Tom Lamb, and many more.
JIM was formed four years ago, primarily by social scientists, policy analysts, and bioethicists in Michigan. Along with issues of healthcare and social justice generally, the organization’s focus has been on Michigan’s unique drug industry shield law, passed in 1996, that fully bars Michigan citizens from bringing suit over drugs approved by the FDA. Michigan’s law is the most draconian in the nation. Courts have ruled that even the most egregious negligence or fraud would not open the courthouse to Michigan citizens. That is thirteen years of justice denied.
Both ADDA and JIM believe that it will take legislative action to restore justice. On the national level, this means the Medical Device Safety Act which would restore the right of citizens to bring suit in the medical device arena. In Michigan, it means rescinding drug industry immunity. The Michigan House has already voted twice to do so. But the bills have been killed by a small number of immunity supporters in the Michigan Senate.
The national and state levels of these issues reinforce each other. Across both parties, and across this land, citizens are recognizing that the days of special interest legislation—along with the era of government arrogance and irresponsibility—are drawing to a close. Before long, we will look back at this time as a nightmare from which we will be thankful to have awakened. In the meantime, Americans for Drug and Device Accountability and Justice in Michigan fight toward that dawn.