Skip to comments.Dems Win Round One in Hinchey v. Troy
Posted on 07/26/2004 5:33:44 AM PDT by OESY
John Edwards once claimed he was channeling the soul of a dead baby before a jury in a medical malpractice case. But if that seems in poor taste, consider the depths to which the tort lawyers' friends in Congress will sink to preserve maximum latitude for lawsuits. Exploiting the families of suicide victims? Fair game, it would seem.
You get the idea: the usual Republican administration serving big business shtick. But remarkably, the House GOP couldn't summon the courage to defend itself and allowed passage on a voice vote of a Hinchey-sponsored amendment that would strip $500,000 from the FDA's budget for Mr. Troy's office.
The Zoloft case illustrates the point nicely. In Motus v. Pfizer the wife of a suicide victim who had been prescribed the drug sued the company in a California state court, claiming the company had negligently failed to warn in its packing and marketing materials that the product might cause suicide. The agency had repeatedly considered requests to include such warnings on Zoloft and other antidepressants and always said no. The FDA reasoned that the risk of patients forgoing treatment because of excessive warnings was greater than any known risk caused by the drugs themselves.
What's more, if the plaintiff's claim was even to be entertained in the California courts, that meant Pfizer could find itself facing two mutually exclusive sets of instructions as to the content of its labeling material. So to prevent legal chaos, the FDA intervened.
In the similar case of Dowhall v. SmithKline Beecham, a plaintiff argued in a California court that nicotine replacement products be required to carry warning that they might cause birth defects. The FDA had already considered and denied a request from a manufacturer to include such a warning, reasoning it might lead pregnant women to conclude that the product was as risky as smoking.
So, frankly, do the American people. I'm a critic of the FDA's glacial drug-approval process, but that's a minor problem compared to what would happen if we gave juries and lawyers a major role in judging the safety of pharmaceuticals. Just look at how they destroyed the silicone breast-implant industry without a shred of real evidence against it. Or how Mr. Edwards made millions peddling a now discredited theory about the cause of cerebral palsy.
So could the House GOP leadership explain why they allowed this conspiracy-monger to strip $500,000 from Mr. Troy's budget? If Republicans with a sympathetic White House are going to shrink from sticking up for a rational tort system every time a sad story gets thrown in their face, what's going to happen if a Vice President Edwards comes to town?
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Hinchey represents most of Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca.
Population wise, maybe, but check out the certified gerrymander required to keep this jackass in Congress:
and Broome county as well with redistricting.
Who's running against him now?