FDA approved warning labels may not protect drug makers in liability cases

Justice John Paul Stevens announced a major defeat for the pharmaceutical industry on Wednesday March 4, 2009. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the drug-maker Wyeth with a 6-3 vote stating that the pharmaceutical company can be held liable for harm caused by medicines even if they carry warning labels that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The Supreme Court ruled that, although the FDA may have approved the drug's warning label, it does not block the drug company from damages in liability claims because the FDA does very little actual testing of the dangers.

This ruling may lead to better warning labels on drugs in an effort by pharmaceutical companies to protect themselves from future liability claims.