What We’re Reading: Drug Labeling In Court

An article in the New York Times this week highlights an upcoming Supreme Court case that may be of special interest to people with diabetes.

The unresolved legal question is: Are states allowed to require stricter drug warnings than the FDA requires when it approves a drug label? Or does the FDA-approved label represent an assessment of the risks and benefits of a drug that no state can legally contradict?


The plaintiff in the case, Diana Levine, lost an arm due to a reaction from the nausea drug promethazine (brand name Phenergan). But with the recent safety concerns over some diabetes drugs, especially rosiglitazone (Avandia), people with diabetes will surely be affected by the Court’s ruling.

Fans of legal documents can read Ms. Levine’s Supreme Court brief here.

This blog entry was written by Editorial Assistant Quinn Phillips.

  • CalgaryDiabetic

    There are costs and benefits of a law suite based system in the health care field. This increases the financial burden greatly but provides relief to injured people. Here in Canada you cannot sue as no Doctor will testify against another Doctor.

    I remember that in US environmental law the States and Municipal regions had the right to past much more severe regulations in addition to the Federal ones. California and the Bay Area ( i.e. San Francisco) were leaders in the field of air pollution abatment. This was in the 1970’s and I dont think Richard Nixon was any less fanatical than G. Bush in his ideology.

    This is scary that the current trend may allow the Federal Drug Standards to be the only thing the drug companies have to worry about. In Canada democracy wins on occaision because of the tension between States and the Federal Government albeit at the cost of greater inefficiency.