NC House Delays Votes on Protecting Drug Makers

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 12:53pm


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are holding off on deciding whether to make the state just the second in the country to protect pharmaceutical companies from almost all lawsuits.

The state House postponed a scheduled vote Wednesday on legislation that would grant immunity from lawsuits to companies if the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for sale.

Michigan is the only state with a similar law. That state's appeals court ruled in March that the law barred Michigan officials from suing Merck & Co. to recover millions of dollars spent on Vioxx, an arthritis drug pulled from the market because of health risks in 2004.

A lawyer who's represented drug companies says they want protection from jurors lacking scientific expertise whose decisions could overrule years of research by regulators.



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