STORY FROM: Drugs & Medical Devices

Brand-Name Drug Makers Can be Held Liable for Inadequately Labeled Generics, Mass. High Court Rules

BOSTON — Brand-name drug makers can be held liable for inadequate warnings on the labels of generic equivalents, Massachusetts highest court has held in reinstating a negligent failure-to-warn claim against Merck & Co. in a prostate drug action.

In a March 16 opinion, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court directed the trial court to determine whether Merck’s failure to update its Proscar label — the language of which was adopted by the makers of the generic equivalent — rose to the standard of “a reckless disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or grave bodily injury.”

In August, 2010, Brian Rafferty ...

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