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September 16, 2009

Tort Claims and Federal Regulation of Medical Devices vs Pharmaceuticals

JAMA. 2009;302(11):1169-1170. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1333

To the Editor: In his Commentary on federal preemption of state tort claims regarding medical devices and pharmaceuticals, Mr Gostin1 explained the critical public health issues and implicated public policy. He also remarked on the “apparently inconsistent decisions” by the US Supreme Court in Riegel v Medtronic Inc (finding suits for defective medical devices preempted) and Wyeth v Levine (no preemption for prescription drugs). From a public policy perspective, this inconsistency is even more perverse than Gostin explained.

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