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July 11, 2019

A New Supreme Court Ruling on Drug Liability

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3JAMA, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2019;322(7):607-608. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8515

Beginning in 2010, more than 1000 women filed lawsuits against Merck for allegedly failing to warn them about atypical femoral fracture associated with the use of the bisphosphonate alendronate, a serious adverse event. On May 20, 2019, the US Supreme Court decided the consolidated case of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Albrecht et al and further commented on instances in which pharmaceutical manufacturers may be held liable for failing to warn patients about the adverse effects of drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).1 This case has far-reaching implications for patients, physicians, and the pharmaceutical industry.

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