NC lawsuit shield falters in legislature

Anyone who's been anticipating a lawsuit shield in North Carolina will have to wait. As Pharmalot reports, the state's legislature has pulled a proposal that would have protected drugmakers from liability lawsuits over FDA-approved drugs. The provision was yanked from a pending bill and sent to a study committee, meaning that the soonest it might be revived is 2012.

The idea of federal preemption--that FDA approval should shield drugs from state-court lawsuits--has been bandied about quite a lot in recent years. Court cases that might have set a precedent for preemption didn't end up working out that way, but advocates of the idea have proposed state legislation addressing the idea.

Michigan, for instance, now has a comprehensive law that limits consumers' ability to recover damages from drugmakers, provided the offending product was FDA-approved. North Carolina's proposal at first would have surpassed Michigan's in its corporate protections, but it was softened as it moved its way through the legislature.

- read the Pharmalot report