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Wisconsin legislature mulls bill to restrict lawsuits against some drug, med-device makers

(Oct. 17, 2011) Wisconsin Public Radio reports that a measure introduced in the Wisconsin legislature proposes to make it harder for people who get injured by certain drugs to sue manufacturers.

Wisconsin state Sen. Rich Zipperer is the author of the bill, which has drawn the ire of consumer advocacy groups, including the Coalition for Wisconsin Aging Groups.

Opponents of the proposed new law assert that it will hurt people injured by flawed drugs and medical devices.

“The plan would shield drug makers and medical device manufacturers from lawsuits if their products were [U.S. Food & Drug Administration]-approved,” WPR reported. “The trouble, critics say, is that there’s a long list of drugs that got the FDA’s OK even though it turns out they were actually harmful or even deadly.”

According to WPR, the Zipperer bill would leave vulnerable to lawsuits drug and device makers that lie to the FDA to win approval to begin marketing their products. “If you’ve complied with everything the FDA requires and all of the extensive testing that goes with it, you shouldn’t be sued for diligently following that process,” said Zipperer in one WPR audio clip.

Zipperer told WPR he hopes his bill will pass during this session of the Wisconsin state legislature.

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